Tax Write-Offs for Artists

Tax Write-Offs for Artists
Tax Write-Offs for Artists (Image: JR South,

An artist is not only a creative force but a businessperson. While an artist naturally wants to devote efforts to artistic endeavors, there is a need to allocate at least some time to tending to business related matters, including taxes. As an artist (and a businessperson), you have the ability to take certain tax write-offs when it comes time to preparing your taxes. By taking full advantage of available tax write-offs, you will end up with more money in your bank account every year.

Tools of the Trade and Supplies

All of the tools and supplies that you purchase in order to undertake your artistic endeavors are appropriate tax write-offs. This does assume that you are engaged in creating art as your profession. If it is merely a hobby, you do not qualify for tax deductions or write-offs. You must pursue your art as a means of generating income.

In order to be in the best possible position to write off tools of your trade and supplies, it is crucial that you document your expenditures throughout the course of a given tax year. Therefore, you need to make sure that you keep your receipts.

Other Business Expenses

Artists tend to overlook other expenses that can be used as tax write-offs. Depending on what you do in the course of your business as an artist, you may utilize equipment, such as a computer, copy machine, telephone and other items. You likely make use of many of the same items that are commonplace in the operation of any business. Provided that you utilize these items primarily for business purposes, you can use these expenses as tax deductions or write-offs.

Studio Space

Most artists favor working in a particular space. If that is the case with you, any costs associated with your studio is a justifiable business expense and can be used as a write-off. If you rent a specific space for use as a studio, the tax deduction is obvious.

If you are like a good number of artists who work from a home studio, you can still qualify for a tax deduction. You need to use your studio exclusively for the pursuit of your efforts as an artist. In order to compute the amount you can deduct or write-off, you need to know the total square footage of your residence. You then need to compute the amount of that space that is the studio. You can take a write-off in the amount that represents the percentage of your mortgage or rent payment that is attributed to the studio space.


As part of your efforts as a professional artist you likely spend time and money marketing your work. Any money that you spend in this regard also represents a legitimate business expense. You can utilize these expenditures as bona fide write-offs for tax purposes.


Computing your taxes (including determining write-offs or deductions) can be a complicated task when you are self-employed. As an artist you will want to give serious consideration to engaging the services of a tax preparation professional who has experience working with self-employed individuals. By taking this course, you will be in the best position to take advantage of all legitimate tax write-offs and worry less about making costly mistakes.

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