Greg Mason Burns

Art and Taxes: It’s Mostly Good News!

Here’s a short and sweet explanation about what artists can do with their art and taxes. It’s the same as any business, but there are some things that are good to know. For one, you may need to depreciate that new easel, and you may need to only deduct some expenses after you’ve sold the artwork. However, if you’ve bought it or done it for the purposes of making, marketing, or selling your art then you can deduct it.

One piece of advice that I would give is don’t think you have to file as a business every year. My accountant will tell me if it makes sense to file as a business or as a hobbyist in any given year. This is mostly due to sales. Some years I make enough money to be able to offset a fair amount of expenses. But the IRS doesn’t like it when a business loses money year after year. Therefore, during low-sales years, if I have high expenses (with a professional studio, I always do), then I file as a hobbyist and lose out on many of the expenses I would normally file as a business. When it comes to art and taxes, the government really doesn’t care. It just doesn’t want to pay for all your losses and it wants to collect on your profits.

Good luck!

Artist’s Delight – Oil on Canvas – The perfect piece of art for tax time