Bipartisan HITS Act Reintroduced To US Congress


Sánchez, Estes introduce bipartisan, bicameral bill to support independent music creators
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA) and Ron Estes (R-KS) today introduced the bipartisan Help Independent Tracks Succeed (HITS) Act, a bill that would allow independent music creators – including musicians, technicians, songwriters, and producers – to deduct 100 percent of recording production expenses in the year they are incurred, rather than in later years. 

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) will soon introduce companion legislation in the Senate. 

The federal tax code already allows film, television, and theater productions to fully deduct production expenses in the year they are incurred. Under current law, music production expenses do not qualify for the same treatment. Implementing this change would help level the playing field for countless small, independent creators and labels. 

“Music is a fundamental part of our lives, shaping our memories and seeing us through both good times and bad. Yet the reality is that many small creators are struggling to make ends meet, especially after the pandemic,” said Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-CA). “That’s why I’m proud to re-introduce the HITS Act today. This bill will make it easier for independent creators to keep doing what they love most, without having to worry about putting food on the table.” 

“Regardless of background, language or experiences, music moves our spirits and connects us to one another,” said Congressman Ron Estes (R-KS). “While talented writers, musicians and producers are creating the sounds that bring joy, reflection and growth, they should be able to deduct their expenses in the year they are incurred. The bipartisan HITS Act is sound, common-sense legislation that supports our creative communities throughout the United States and encourages music makers of all sizes and notoriety.” 

“Music has inspired, comforted and entertained us,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “While music helped so many get through the pandemic, creators struggled to make ends meet when they were unable to play live shows, and many continue to feel that financial pain. Our bill would provide relief by allowing independent musicians, technicians and producers to deduct a portion of their production expenses in the same year they occur, giving them the same treatment as film, television and theater productions have long had.” 

“The music from Nashville strikes a chord with folks across the nation,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). “However, the unique burdens faced by the arts community forced many to stop writing, performing, and producing altogether. The HITS Act will provide targeted tax deductions to support our musicians and allow them to get back to work.” 

The bill would allow up to $150,000 in recording production expenses to be deducted in the year they are incurred, rather than in later years. As recording artists continue to recover from festivals, tours, and studio sessions postponed by the pandemic, this investment in countless music small businesses across the country is more important than ever. 

The HITS Act is supported by the following organizations: the Recording Academy, the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), Music Artist Coalition, Artist Rights Alliance, Recording Industry Association of America, National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), SoundExchange, Global Music Rights, SESAC, National Independent Venue Association, National Independent Talent Organization, Future of Music Coalition, Digital Media Association, Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), American Society of Composers, Black Music Action Coalition, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), Gospel Music Association, Christian Music Trade Association, Songwriters of North America, SAG-AFTRA, Songwriters Guild of America, Church Music Publishers Association, and Society of Composers & Lyricists

“Earlier this month at the GRAMMY Awards we celebrated the power of music on Music’s Biggest Night, but we know it’s important to build a music ecosystem year-round that supports all creators. The Help Independent Tracks Succeed Act will aid independent artists, songwriters, and producers in creating new music that we can celebrate and enjoy,” said Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “We are grateful to Reps. Sánchez and Estes, and Senators Feinstein and Blackburn, for reintroducing the HITS Act and we are optimistic this legislation will finally become law in this Congress.” 

“The reintroduction of the HITS Act in 2023 is a much-needed step toward tax savings for recording artists, their label partners, and songwriters that will enable them to reinvest in new projects,” said Dr. Richard James Burgess MBE, President and CEO of A2IM. “HITS will create jobs and increase the recorded output of American music creators. The exact same tax relief has long been available to other creative sectors, so we are thankful to our congressional champions who are steadfast in supporting the independent recorded music culture.” 

“We thank Senators Feinstein and Blackburn, and Representatives Sánchez and Estes for their work on this important legislation,” said David Israelite, President and CEO of NMPA; Beth Mathews, CEO of ASCAP; and Mike O’Neill, President and CEO of BMI. “We are pleased to support the HITS Act because it will help songwriters, composers, and music publishers expedite expensing the cost of demos they create in the process of bringing their music to fans. On behalf of America’s independent music creators, we urge Congress to swiftly enact this legislation.” 

“The Nashville Songwriters Association International supports and encourages adoption of the HITS Act,” said Bart Herbison, Executive Director of NSAI. “Independent creators, including individual songwriters, face unique financial challenges.  Allowing them to fully expense the cost of new studio recordings on their taxes in the year such expenses are incurred eases the financial burden and benefits the public because it encourages new recordings for music lovers to enjoy.”