Jake Johannsen on the curious case of the touring performer who has to file taxes

Seeing that Jake Johannsen was returning to New York City this weekend to perform at Gotham Comedy Club, and seeing that his most recent special from last year, I Love You, was playing on Showtime, I decided to catch it on the repeat overnight.

Johannsen's bit about taxes, of course, is very timely right about now. And he makes some good, funny points. Here's a video one of his fans captured off of TV (which explains the video's quality). Roll the clip!


This is the part that any touring comedian (or musician) may feel most relevant:

"So the accountant, he has my taxes, he has my information, for like two weeks or so. And then he mails me the packet of all the forms filled out, which is like that thick (fingers held apart) — no exaggeration — because every state I work in, I have to file a tax return, which is (audience groans) I know! It's ridiculous! I'm not, thank you for the sympathy, I'm just saying, I feel like I should be able to pay California, where I live, and then they should square up with the other states. When you get mugged by a gang of guys, you don't have to pay each individual guy. That's a service that they provide."

I've never had to worry about this myself, but hearing Johannsen talk about the difficulties of filing taxes as a road comic certainly made me wonder why taxes have to be so difficult to figure out.

What tips and tricks do other touring stand-up comedians, musicians and other performers use? Or do they all rely on a favorite accountant? Do you have tips to share with other comedians?

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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