The Writer's Chronicle (a publication of AWP, The Association of Writers and Writing Programs) for December 2014 reports that New York artist SUSAN CRILE has won a ruling from the United States Tax Court, allowing her to take tax deductions for business expenses related to her artwork. The IRS had contended in the 2010 case that Crile's artwork did not constitute a "profession" for tax purposes, alleging that her work was "an activity not engaged in for profit." Judge Albert G. Lauder disagreed. He ruled that Crile had "met the burden of proving that in carrying on her activity as an artist, she had an actual and honest objective of making a profit," and that, therefore, she qualified to take tax deductions as a professional artist.
This ruling has implications for all of us whose work is created in the hope of generating income that might someday, conceivably, amount in our wildest dreams to a profit. We may have love or compulsion at the heart of what we do, but we are not martyrs. We may not regard art or poetry as a commodity, but we do want to make a living from our work. Now we can claim the status of professionals before the taxing authorities as well as in our private lives.
In addition to the important public aspect of this story, I am personally pleased by it because Susan and I grew up together in Cleveland, and I have known her and followed her work throughout her career. She has evolved from a painter of the beautiful unseen back halves of quilts flung over a rack that I saw in her upstate New York studio in the 1970s to an artist making art from the images of fire in the Iraqi oilfields, to Abu Ghraib, to the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Visit her website.
It is my honor that Susan has allowed me to use one of the paintings from her September 11 series as the cover art for my new book, Longevity, due from Four Way Books in October, 2015.
It has been a pleasure to share with Susan the excitement of making Longevity a published book with her image as the first impression readers will get of its contents. I should be able to share the cover image sometime in the spring of 2015. I am thrilled to have Susan as my collaborator and gratified to share the news of her victory in court. Thank you, Susan, for representing all of us professional artists and writers!