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How long should it take to receive payment after a job? What do I do if I have not been paid? 

Most union work ensures that dancers are paid within 30 days after the job ends. For non-union work, it may take up to 60 days to receive payment. Recording labels have a 45-60 day window to process your payment, assuming everything was submitted on time. If you have not been paid after the allotted time, contact your agent immediately.


What is Per diem? How is it distributed? Is it taxed? 

Per diem is a daily allowance given to an employee to cover living expenses while traveling for work. The standard rate is $65.00 per day for domestic travel, and $75.00 per day for international travel. It may be paid with cash or a check, depending on the company's policy and must remain consistent across the board with all employees (no exceptions). For example, if a company chooses to pay cash at the start of a job, it doesn't ensure that another employer will implement the same policy. You can be taxed on per diem if your employer chooses to include it in their filing with the IRS. 


What is hazard pay?

If a producer/artist engages a performer in legitimate hazardous activity, they pay a minimal fee in order to require the performer to perform such activity. 


Are there companies that help dancers specifically in filing taxes?

Yes. Please visit our tax page under resources to find out more about entertainment tax preparers near you.


What can I write off as a Professional Dancer when filing under a 1099?  

You can write off any business expenses or materials an employer did not reimburse you for. 

General dance items may include:



Advertising (headshots, demos, website, printing)

Vehicle expenses for work (gas)

Travel for work

Beauty items for stage performers

Union/professional dues 

Agency commission

Business meals

Phone and internet expenses

You are allowed to deduct most business expenses in full. Meals are deducted at 50%.