If you are making money from your art, you are running a business. As such, you should behave like a business.
- Have a separate banking account and credit card
- Look into forming an LLC or incorporating – talk to a business advisor or attorney to decide what makes the most sense financially and to protect your personal assets
- Keep track of income and expenses
These are only a few basic suggestions of course. When it comes to keeping track of expenses, you can deduct miles that you drive for your business. Miles to and from the airport for a business trip. To and from your favorite art store for supplies, etc.
Here is the new deduction rate for mileage for 2015 for those of us in the US
The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2015 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:
- 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014
- 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, including depreciation, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance, gas and oil. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs, such as gas and oil. The charitable rate is set by law.
Taxpayers always have the option of claiming deductions based on the actual costs of using a vehicle rather than the standard mileage rates.
A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after claiming accelerated depreciation, including the Section 179 expense deduction, on that vehicle. Likewise, the standard rate is not available to fleet owners (more than four vehicles used simultaneously). Details on these and other special rules are in Revenue Procedure 2010-51, the instructions to Form 1040 and various online IRS publications including Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.
Besides the standard mileage rates, Notice 2014-79, posted today on IRS.gov, also includes the basis reduction amounts for those choosing the business standard mileage rate, as well as the maximum standard automobile cost that may be used in computing an allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.