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Senate approves artist's and educators tax deducation.

2008 Artists' Fair-Market Value Deduction Bills PDF

Tax Exempt Organizations Can Now File Online
The National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) has launched a new free web service for tax-exempt organizations to file their tax year returns. To access Form 990, visit http://efile.form990.org/

INSTRUCTIONS FOR EDUCATORS TO GET $250 FEDERAL TAX DEDUCTION
The Educator Expense Deduction was reinstated by congress. However, the legislation made it into law in late December, long after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) printed this year's official tax forms. This means that to claim the $250 deduction for out-of-pocket classroom expenses, educators will need to follow special instructions issued by the IRS -- or to file their tax returns electronically, which the IRS recommends. Along with the deductions for educators' out-of-pocket classroom expenses, lawmakers extended tax deductions for higher education tuition and fees and state and local sales taxes. The IRS has drawn up special instructions for claiming each of the three deductions. To learn how to claim these credits.

Grassroots Tools

Tips On How You Can Communicate With CongressThis section provides four ways to communicate with your Members of Congress and ten tips for each communication method. In addition, Arts Presenters realizes how intimidating it can be when communicating with a legislator, whether by letter, fax, phone, or personal visit. Although some may feel completely comfortable, some others may not. That is why we are at your service!

Presently NOTHING has been done!

On April 9, 2003, the U.S. Senate passed by a vote of 95-5 legislation with provisions allowing artists, writers, composers and other creators of original work to take a full fair-market value charitable contribution for the donation of their "literary, musical, artistic, or scholarly compositions." Current tax law allows artists to deduct only the costs of materials, such as paint, brushes and canvasses, while ignoring the true value of the work.

The Artist-Museum Partnership Act, S.287, introduced February 4, 2003, by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Robert Bennett (R-UT), with fourteen other senators cosponsoring the bill, was attached to the CARE Act, S.476, with several other changes to the federal tax code aimed at increasing charitable giving. The CARE Act originally included provisions that would have expanded federal funding to religious groups which critics argued would lead to federally funded proselytizing and job discrimination. When the provisions were dropped, opposition to the bill fell away.

In addition to extending the charitable deduction to artists for donations of their work, the CARE Act allows a deduction up to $250 for charitable contributions by taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions. The IRA rollover, allowing taxpayers to donate their individual retirements accounts directly to charities without paying a tax penalty, is also included in the bill passed by the Senate.

NASAA and other arts advocacy organizations have been pressing Congress for several years to correct the tax code prohibiting artists from taking the charitable deduction available to collectors and others who donate works of art to charitable organizations. Now, with passage of the measure in the Senate, the bill goes to the House where it is likely to be approved.

Advocates are encouraged to join NASAA in thanking Sens. Leahy and Bennett for their constant support of the artists' tax deduction legislation and their leadership in seeing the measure through to Senate floor passage. Please phone or fax your words of appreciation to Sen. Leahy at 202-224-4242, fax 202-224-3479; and to Sen. Bennett at 202-224-5444, fax 202-228-1168.

The other cosponsors of the Senate artists' bill are Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Tom Daschle (D-SD), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Bob Graham (D-FL), James Jeffords (I-VT), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Edward M.. Kennedy (D-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), and John Warner (R-VA).

House Action Needed

Reps. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN) plan to introduce a bill-the Charitable Giving Act of 2003 - similar to the CARE Act passed by the Senate. It is essential that the artists' charitable deduction provisions be included.

Arts advocates in Missouri and Tennessee, in particular, are encouraged to contact Blunt and Ford, urging them to include the artists' tax deduction provisions in the House bill as passed by the Senate. The legislation is expected to be introduced in the House at the end of April.

Phone or fax Rep. Blunt at 202-225-6536, fax 202-225-5604; and Rep. Ford at 202-225-3265, fax 202-225-5663. Ask them to include H.R. 806, the Artists' Contribution to American Heritage Act introduced by Reps. Amo Houghton (R-NY) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). This bill is identical to the Leahy-Bennett bill included in the Senate's passage of the CARE Act.

The extension of the fair-market value deduction for artists donating their work is expected to promote gifts to museums and libraries hard pressed for acquisition funds. The measure is also intended to protect the public's access to works of the nation's patrimony which otherwise would be sold into private collections at home or overseas.

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Senate Bill Lets Artists Claim Price for Gifts

By ROBIN POGREBIN NYT November 22, 2005

Living writers, musicians, artists and scholars who donate their work to a museum or other charitable cause would earn a tax deduction based on full fair market value under a bill just passed by the Senate.
Currently such work receives only a deduction based on the cost of materials unless it is donated posthumously by the estates.
The measure was approved as an amendment to a broader $59.6 billion tax relief bill passed by the Senate early Friday. It now goes to a House-Senate conference committee. The House version of the tax relief bill does not include the arts provision, but the senators who introduced the amendment - Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, and Pete V. Domenici, a New Mexico Republican - said they were hopeful that the committee would support it.
Under the bill, artists could donate their work during their lifetimes at full market value provided that it is properly appraised and handed over at least 18 months after it is created.
The provision seems likely to open the way for more acquisitions by cash-strapped museums. "It's very important for cultural institutions and libraries to be able to be the recipient of these works of art that otherwise might go into private hands," said Mimi Gaudieri, the executive director of the Association of Art Museum Directors..." [read on...]

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