An interesting bill is currently pending in congress regarding the tax code and aritsts donations to non profits. Its called the Artist deduction Bill. The bill, which was approved by the Senate would allow artists to take a tax deduction for the fair market value of works donated to charitable organizations. If accepted by the House, it will take effect on January 1, 2006, and would expire on December 31, 2007, unless renewed by Congress. Under current law, artists may take a tax deduction only for the cost of materials, such as paper, chemicals, and mat board. It is important to note that under the new provision, only gifts that are retained by the recipient for mission-related use would generate a full deduction. Gifts that are sold or auctioned, even in order to raise funds that are put to charitable use, would not qualify. The artist deduction bill is part of a larger piece of legislation that includes many provisions of interest to the arts and other charity groups. The original sponsors of the artist bill, Senators. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Robert Bennett (R-UT) led a successful effort to insert it in the larger bill, helped by a number of others including Senators. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Pete Domenici (R-NM), and Edward Kennedy (D-MA).
If you’re interested in contacting your representative about this issue, American’s for the Arts has streamlined the process for you here.