Smarter accounting

Accounts for Artists

3 May 2015, Artists

Tax breaks for artists

Douglas Connell, a tax lawyer at Turcan Connell and chairman of Museums and Galleries Scotland has proposed preferential treatment in preparing tax accounts for artists.  His view is that tax breaks for artists would enrich Scotland’s cultural life.  He would like to see Irish-style tax breaks for “players in orchestras, craft makers, writers, dancers, artists, actors, composers and others involved in creative and artistic activities”.  He said: “These individuals typically have relatively modest incomes but contribute greatly to the artistic and cultural life of our country which, in turn, has significant economic benefits”.  Mr Connell has submitted a plan to the commission led by Lord Smith of Kelvin to examine the new powers to be devolved to Scotland in the wake of the referendum.

Paintbrushes with out of focus artist in the background

He wrote to the commission in a personal capacity and believes the move would be a “huge welcome sign to artists from Scotland, and a symbol of our confidence in our culture”.  The Republic of Ireland has given artists a tax exemption since 1969 which means the profits from the sale of works do not attract income tax up to a maximum amount of €40,000, or £31,500.

Preparing accounts for artists

Changes to the tax system in Scotland are already taking effect in other areas, but tax breaks for artists are not planned at the moment.  You don’t need to wait for a change in the tax system to save money as Tim Alter of Alterledger has been invited by the Scottish Artists Union and Applied Arts Scotland to deliver a seminar on how to prepare accounts for artists.

Topics covered in the seminar

The seminar will cover the items below in straightforward language.  The aim is for you to learn enough to be able to complete your own accounts and save on accountancy fees!

  • Setting yourself up as a Limited Company / Partnership / Sole Trader
  • Improving your cash flow
  • Allowable Expenses
  • Keeping good records
  • VAT – should you register?
  • Employment status

Eventbrite page

Use the following panel to book a place on 21st May.

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