New Bill Seeks Tax Deduction for Fair Market Value of Photos

As previously discussed, federal tax laws generally do not allow photographers to deduct the fair market value of their photos donated to charities. The law was changed in 1969 to limit the deductions to the cost of materials. But there is a glimmer of hope for a change.

Known as the Artist-Museum Partnership Act, a bill has been introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy in Congress that would allow artists, including photographers, to deduct the fair market value of their works from their taxes when donated to museums and libraries. More information about the bill is available here. Unfortunately, the bill has been before Congress fives times before — the Senate gave approval every time, but it was stopped by the House of Representatives.

Certainly, photographers would get greater benefit if the legislation was expanded to include donations to all organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions rather than just libraries and museums. But at least this is a start in the right direction.

Let your representatives know that you support this bill. You can identify your representative by entering your zip code here.

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