What Makes An Artist Special? Nothing, According to the IRS

Being poor for art has a shelf life. It’s important to be brave enough to sacrifice potential revenue and follow your dreams, but to make a career in the arts happen, eventually a sustainable income and lifestyle has to be secured. Part of getting there, is knowing how to handle your taxes. Learning the ins and outs of this part of your practice will help you get through the tough times and the boom times.

We’ve had our fair share of both over here at AFC, so we thought a few questions to an accountant might be useful not just for our readers, but for our own, self-serving purposes. In the following Q&A with accountant Hannah Cole, we tried to discern what, if anything was unique about artists taxes, how creatives can get the biggest tax breaks, and whether they should attempt to do their taxes on their own. The answers were eye-opening. 

AFC: Are artist taxes unique?

Hannah Cole: Not really. If you’re receiving money from your work as an artist, you are running a small business. As such, you file a Schedule C (aka Profit and Loss from Business), which is an attachment to your regular individual tax return.