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Week 11: Value of our work financially, and of our value in the world around us and working in the systems we have in place.


Ok so its SUAW time, and i like that acronym so much. Its a good shape and makes me want to write things. I’m so hunch i’ve realised but i’m releasing some of the pressure on myself to be perfect and instead just accept the shape and form, and to exercise and stretch when needed be kind and a bit responsive to my body on that level. Sit with the tension in my body and be ok with all that.

Today we are looking at artist practice and tax, we have a guy Lowenstein who is the top apparently, and gosh don’t i need tax advice. I didn’t even put tax in last year cause i didn’t think it was worth it.

I want to add a question also, i will try articulate it now:

Is it better to conduct your artistic endevours as a hobby or as a business? Particularly if you make less than $5000 a year on it, regularly?

How much income do you need make annually to legitimise being an artist? If I never make more than $5000 a year on it, or always submit my business as making a loss should i reframe it?

Evan Lowenstein - Presentation

Steve met Evan through John Mead who ran professional perspectives:

ABN: is the number you need to supply a service

Artist as a business

Rule 5.1


Artists have to show that they are carrying on a business

: The hallmarks of a business


> Profit motive

> and the intention of carrying on a business

If you have a home studio,

How often you have an exhibition,

Australian Taxation Office document

Finances are important in the running of an art practice

> And can reveal how your practice is going, are you being ripped off by the gallery (which happens often)

> Capitalistic and profit making motives, can not favour artists - to be aware of

Basic Principle:

Assessable income


Allowable Deducations

equals taxable income

See example in slides:


Expenses: See Slides

A requirement to keep diary of shared used items

Eg: home studio, partial part of

New rules regarding assets are now <$150,000

Question - how do you work out depreciation amounts?

Claims on shared home bills are usually %20

Car usage - Use the 68c a kilometre

Go Get can be 100%

Public transport costs

Travel - Travel diary needs to be kept

Can claim airfare, insurance, accommodation, etc…

Dark Mofo trip - professional development trip

Business or Hobby???

Delivering a commercial character to things

The intention of the taxpayer

And the affect of the activity

And that there is a significant amount of regular time spent on the business

A portfolio of work

Attempts to market the work, galleries, online, shop fronts, where ever, and keeping evidence of this keeping CV up to date

Having contracts that are applicable

Having a plan


Non Commercial Losses

> If making more than $40,000 gross from other sources - wages?

$20,000 gross in sales or/

Profits need to have been earned in 3 out of 5 years

Anecdote: Teaching income more than $40,000 gross and $10,000 in painting sales, but a $5000 loss cannot claim to offset those losses

Question - Salary packaging being taken out, then the rest left over under $40,000 that would be one way to get around it…

ABNs - You have to have one, and you’ll get less tax

Artist and GST

Its your choice if under $75,000 art sales

If you do register, you must add 10% to your sale amount

> you can claim back GST paid on purchases - this can be of use if the costs are high but income low

> buying commercially zoned property, you can get a lot back

> Seek advice if getting acquisitions

> More paperwork and BAS statements etc

> Can be a lot of extra work/book keeping

Can be clear about it on invoice TAX INVOICE

Only Annual tax return required


If you make sales in another country?

Income - as the money is coming in as income, there is no GST on exports

Working out depreciation of assets?

> there are new rules coming into place

> give it to the accountant

> could be shared between home/work

Centrelink Payments - some are taxable some aren’t

Do we need a separate bank account and what are the benefit of that?

If you can work it out on a spreadsheet then that’s fine.

A pro can be that its already separated from personal expenses

But look out for the fees you’l get charged per year as a result of this

Recent Developments

Resale Royalties

Initially brought in to help Indigenous artists, but some exploitation where people buying direct with Consignment rather than buying from the galleries


Personal Properties Securities Register

If giving work on consignment- register to protect your work in the case of gallery insolvency/liquidation

Get good professional advice

COVID packages

Job Keeper/Job Seeker

Gig economy

Patchy incomes


Have a look at classmates websites

Artist not being recognised as a job

Lowenstein return:

$300 / $350


South Melbourne

AUSLAN 12.30pm

Looking Ahead Professional Perspectives

12 - Andy Butler

13 - A poll about what we will look at in this week