Re: taxes & film expenses

From: Roger Beebe (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Jun 24 2008 - 09:14:59 PDT

In all of this, though, do remember that if you don't spend more than
the standard deduction ($5450 for single folks in 2008), then
itemizing won't save you a dime.


On Jun 23, 2008, at 11:52 PM, Steve Polta wrote:

> I am also not a CPA, but Jason is right on here.
> One way to avoid those successive years of loss is to simply skip a
> year. Like you file Schedule C for three years, skip a year (and
> eat the losses), then get back to it.
> Also, anticipating an audit, it is helpful to save documentation
> that you are *attempting* to make a profit at this activity.
> Evidence would be grant applications (granted or not), festival
> entries, documentation of screenings and evidence of having work in
> for-rent distribution, say with Canyon or FMC.
> It's worked for me...
> Steve Polta
> --- On Mon, 6/23/08, Jason Cortlund <email suppressed>
> wrote:
>> From: Jason Cortlund <email suppressed>
>> Subject: Re: taxes & film expenses
>> To: email suppressed
>> Date: Monday, June 23, 2008, 8:13 PM
>> I am not a CPA, but here's what I know to be true.
>> Yes, Schedule C is exactly what you'd use to write off
>> expenses--but
>> you have to save your receipts throughout the year.
>> It's perfectly
>> legitimate for artists to write off things like: research
>> materials
>> (any and all movie tickets, video rentals, Broadway shows,
>> crappy band
>> cover charges, CDs, book and magazine purchases--it all
>> goes into the
>> subconscious kitty for future reference, you know); travel
>> associated
>> with research/production/performance; 50% of meals
>> associated with
>> your work; office supplies; shipping and postage; entry
>> fees &
>> professional services related to your art; and of course
>> all things
>> like film/video stock; plus more. You can also amortize
>> large
>> equipment purchases as a depreciating expense over several
>> years (you
>> shouldn't write off that $5000 laptop or $8000 HD cam
>> in one year).
>> As far as income goes, yes it does help to have income
>> that's directly
>> related to your work. But if you get a grant or two or a
>> private
>> donation, that's income. More important that income is
>> profit versus
>> loss. You probably don't want to claim massive losses
>> due to the
>> expenses of your artistic endeavors year after year. The
>> general rule
>> I've heard is that you need to show some kind of profit
>> 3 out of every
>> 5 years. It's helpful to know also that just because
>> you have
>> legitimate expenses doesn't mean you need to claim all
>> of them.
>> If you claim loss after loss, year after year on your
>> Schedule C, then
>> you might get audited and the IRS might tell you the
>> deductions aren't
>> fair, and then they'll call your work a
>> "hobby" and not a legitimate
>> profession. And then your parents will be validated and it
>> all comes
>> crashing down. But in the right circumstances, the
>> "C" can save you a
>> lot of money--fair and square.
>> If you're really feel nervous about it, there are some
>> CPAs out there
>> who offer discounted rates for artists to help them prepare
>> their
>> returns (if you're a member of any professional artist
>> societies or
>> collectives, check with their offices--maybe they can put
>> you in
>> touch).
>> Best of luck,
>> Jason Cortlund
>> __________________________________________________________________
>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
>> <email suppressed>.
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.