Easing the Financial Burden Placed on Independent Artists
The Recording Academy worked directly with Representatives Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) and Ron Estes (R-Kansas) and Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) to introduce the bipartisan and bicameral “Help Independent Tracks Succeed (HITS) Act” (H.R.7886/S.4955).
What Is the HITS Act?
The HITS Act was created to help independent artists get back into the studio to create new music. Currently, individual recording artists and record producers are required to amortize production expenses for tax purposes over the economic life of a sound recording. These artists and producers should be allowed an election to deduct 100% of their production expenses for records created in the United States in the year such expenses are incurred, in the same manner that qualified film and television production expenses are allowed to be expensed. The HITS Act would allow an individual to fully expense the cost of new studio recordings on their taxes, up to $150,000.
Why Do We Need the HITS Act?
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, life changed for everyone. For the music creators in our local communities, the fallout was quick. They were among the first out of work– music festivals were canceled, tours were axed, and studio sessions were indefinitely postponed. While many artists adapted by streaming live performances online for their fans, these streams primarily served to preserve the connection with fans as the income generated, if any, pales in comparison to what has been lost.
Emergency aid in the CARES Act was a vital lifeline, but we must look ahead to recovery. Creators across the country are not looking for a handout. They want to work. They want to create. The HITS Act is a bipartisan bill born out of discussions with creators. As independent creators hope to safely re-enter the studio and begin creating the music we love, the HITS Act would help incentivize the creation of great new music.
“Similar to many families and workers across the country, the coronavirus has also had an enormous impact on music makers…Our bill will provide small, independent creators with a bit of help getting back to work, making the music we turn to in good times and bad."
– Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, Sponsor of the HITS Act
“The men and women who make music – either through writing, singing, playing or producing – deserve to have the same tax benefits as artists in the film, television and live theater industries."
– Congressman Ron Estes, Sponsor of the HITS Act
Who Supports the HITS Act?
In addition to the Recording Academy, the HITS Act is supported by A2IM, Music Artist Coalition, Artists Rights Alliance, RIAA, NMPA, SoundExchange, Global Music Rights, SESAC, National Independent Talent Organization, National Independent Venues Association, Future of Music Coalition, Digital Music Association (DiMA), NSAI, ASCAP, BMI, Gospel Music Association, Christian Music Trade Association (CMTA) and Songwriters of North America (SONA).
What’s Next for the HITS Act?
The HITS Act has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee – on which Reps. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) and Ron Estes (R-Kansas) serve – for consideration. In the Senate, the bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. The Recording Academy, working alongside proponents of the bill, will make the HITS Act a top legislative priority during the ongoing COVID-19 stimulus negotiations.
To help advance the bill, supporters are encouraged to contact their lawmakers and ask for their support:
News About the HITS Act
- Recording Academy Aligns with HITS Act to Help Indie Artists
- New Congressional Bills Seeks to Encourage Music Creation Through Tax Code Change
- Congresswoman Introduces Bill to Help Independent Musicians
- Recording Academy Takes Lead in Championing the HITS Act to Support Independent Music Makers During COVID-19 Pandemic
- Sens. Feinstein and Blackburn Introduce the HITS Act in the Senate
- Senate Introduces HITS Act Companion Bill to Provide Tax Breaks for Music Creators