Tuesday, March 27, 2007

your art and the tax code

A new blog - Social Practice - has brought to my attention the following:
The Artist Tax Deduction Bill is finally up for action in the House. “Preserving America’s Cultural Heritage” it’s not, but the text of the bill does seem like it’s a step in the right direction.
After announcing at the Congressional Arts Breakfast on Arts Advocacy Day that he would be the lead sponsor for the Artist Deduction Bill, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) introduced the bill on March 14, 2007, joined by Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN). Identical to a Senate bill introduced by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Robert Bennett (R-UT), the bill supports individual artists by allowing them to take a fair-market value tax deduction for tangible works they donate to nonprofit collecting and educational organizations, and it benefits the public by giving them access to more art. The ‘works’ covered under this bill are “contributions of literary, musical, artistic, or scholarly compositions” which would seem to leave plenty of room for artistic activities that do not produce a physical product.
Under current law, creators and collectors are treated differently when they donate tangible works (e.g., paintings or manuscripts) to museums, libraries, educational or other collecting institutions. A collector may deduct the fair-market value of the work, but creators may deduct only their "basis" value—essentially the cost of materials such as paint and canvas. Again pointing to the class divisions between the producers and the collectors. Americans for the Arts has more info plus ways to be involved.

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