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Tax Tip: Travel expenses for artists
Reader's question #1: Are taxes the same for all income - and what about travel expenses?
Two questions from a reader:
Are taxes the same for all different sources of income?
In the UK, the answer is ALL INCOME is liable to tax assessment - no matter how you earn it.
In fact, my P60 (for my pension) has a neat quote in it which I've added into the HMRC section of Tax Tips for Artists.
By law you are required to tell HM Revenue & Customs about any income that is not fully taxed, even if you are not sent a tax return.
Can I deduct my travel expenses from my income before tax?
Whether you can claim travel expenses depends on how you earn your income
You may not be aware but many artists do NOT just earn income from sales of their paintings.
Very many professional artists who also teach earn income:
The issue of whether or not you can claim travel expenses relates to whether or not you are a sole trader and wholly responsible for all your actions.
So for example, (in the UK) if you are an employee with a contract of employment and what you do is dictated by others (eg you teach a set curriculum); you are managed and assessed as to competence by others and paid on a monthly basis - then you can't claim home to work travel expenses.
That's because you are the same as every other employee in the UK - and employees can't claim home to work (and back again) expenses as a business expense.
However if you are completely freelance and have a number of different people who hire you to teach art and/or you deliver your own workshops at different venues you hire around the country - then you are self-employed and you can then claim your travel expenses.
Basic principles: you can only claim travel expenses:
Note: This article is intended to be for general information and is should not be relied on as definitive tax advice. It's your responsibility to check the rules for the country where you live and work and the relevant tax year. The tax rules may be similar or they may be different.
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about art, artists and the art business and has followers all over the world. She also delivers workshops for art organisations and reviews websites and career strategies for artists.
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