Wall Street Journal, December 10, 1997

News from the Street:

"Rock Stars Tangle with the IRS Over Deducting Wild Onstage

Musicians and singers often wear unusual clothes during performances, but does their garb qualify as an ordinary and necessary business expense?  This was one of several taxing questions in a case involving Stevie Nicks of the legendary group
Fleetwood Mac.  She said her flowing onstage attire "is not suitable for ordinary wear."  She adds that much of it is discarded after concerts because it "simply cannot be reused, given the energy level" of her performances and "the heat generated on stage from lights and physical exertion."

George G. Short, a California lawyer, says a "tenative agreement" has been reached with the IRS on this and other issues, such as deductions for a home office and a personal manager.  He declines to elaborate, and the IRS says it can't comment.  In a separate case, the Tax Court recently allowed a musician touring with Rod Stewart to deduct only $200 of $695 in "stage clothes", holding that most of the items were "adaptable for general and personal wear."
   Ed. note:  The judge rejected any deduction for the man's underwear.

Thanks to Amelia K. Balonek for transcribing this and posting it to the Ledge and to Anusha for forwarding it to us.