Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tax Question


Question: i Chris, My partner is a visual artist (painter), and I am currently preparing his 2010 income tax return. He's purchased a lot of books, movies, and music to inform and inspire him in his work. What kind of expense would I claim this as? Thanks so much. I can't find the response anywhere in your book "Artist Survival Skills". Natalie

Answer: I am not a tax expert and I have to consider my liability when I provide the advice I give —this is what my professional partners have taught me. So advice about taxes and other legal issues are high-risk for me. I did not write the tax chapter in my book, Bob McMurray, an artist and accountant did. I ask him a lot of questions when I answer tax questions.

But I would not claim these expenses you are asking about. By extension, every sensual/intellectual experience an artist has is capable of inspiring a piece, but you have to pay taxes. There has to be a evidentiary trail to make a legal claim; a specific movie or book may relate to a specific work, but that is such a slight occurrence in the grand scheme of things, and the expense so small, it is hardly worth claiming, and the fact that one work may be inspired by one movie does not qualify all movies as a legitimate expense.

I have been audited and I believe such claims would be refused, but this is just my opinion, Natalie. An accountant can give you professional advice.

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