There are bills before the House and Senate in Congress about artists' deductions for their work to nonprofit institutions such as museums, organizations, etc. Currently the Internal Revenue Service only allows photographers to deduct the cost of the production of their images, which is simply the cost of materials, and not their time or related costs. This means photographers are not allowed to deduct the fair market value of their work, which is interesting since museums often insure the same work at market value since they have to account for the replacement cost in the marketplace.
The full text of the bill is available, identical in both chambers of Congress, from the House and the Senate. You can write your representatives or through the Advocates for the Arts Web page for this legislation. Why should you voice your concern and interest to help artists and, in my interest, photographers?
Well, I'm still in the long learning curve of becoming a serious photographer and making it a small personal business. It's a long road, and in reality, it's a financially losing situation. When I license my business later this year, it's clear I won't have any real income for awhile, but I'll have a lot of expenses working to develop images, products and clients. The average time to generate a minimal income, from what I've learned from other photographers, is three to five years, depending on your interests and energy.
For me it will be longer, but in the meantime I plan to continue producing photo cards and prints to donate to friends, family and others, some of whom will be nonprofits. It's a way to showcase and get my work in the market. So having the ability to deduct the fair market value of my work is worthwhile to me. I plan to watch this bill, express my view, and hope it passes. Your support of artists is appreciated.
Thank you for your time and consideration.