Susan Crile Artist Vs. the IRS
Artist Vs. the IRS

WNYC - Studio 360
Kurt Andersen
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By most measures, Susan Crile is a successful painter. She has had solo shows at New York galleries, sold hundreds of pieces over the last 40 years, and has work in museums such as the Guggenheim and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. But the IRS said Crile’s artwork was a hobby. They sued Crile for back taxes, arguing that because she’s also a tenured professor of studio art, teaching was her actual profession, so she couldn’t deduct her expenses as an artist. (More specifically, she could deduct expenses from the profit on selling art, but could not claim a business loss — which she had used to offset other income.) The IRS sought to reclaim more than $80,000. Their case even suggested that because Susan Crile enjoyed making art, it wasn’t really a business.

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