Q. If you wind up as a staff writer for a television show, how do you handle things like health insurance and taxes? I would guess the first one might be easier with the Affordable Health Care Act in play here in the US, and I know the WGA offers insurance after you earn a certain amount. But how do you actually live and get covered? Is it doable? For some of us with pre-existing conditions, that's a Real Thing To Worry About.
The WGA has a very, very good, gold-plated health plan. So good that people continue to pay their WGA dues even when they haven't written anything in years, just so they can buy into it.
Q. Taxes. As a contractor, you're responsible for all of that stuff on your own. I assume there are oodles of accountants specializing in helping people in the entertainment industry, but can you give me a thumbnail sketch of what it's like? Do you get to deduct things like cable TV if you're a working TV writer? Is the tax burden better or worse than if you were a traditional employee?
Yes. There are oodles.
You can deduct quite a bit. Cable bills. Computers. Movies you go to. Lunches. Books. I am not an accountant, and this is not accounting advice, but there's a reason so many of us have loanout companies.