OK. This is not looking good. Not good at all. A tax court in the state of Arizona has before them a case which could downgrade the tax status of documentary filmmakers. Right now documentaries are considered a business and expenses from making a documentary can be deducted from your tax report. But this could change, the judge right now is deciding if documentary filmmaking is an “activity not engaged in for profit.” Basically making a profession into a hobby.
This could have serious implications for all documentarians should this judge and the IRS undermine the film world. Talk about owed back taxes out the wazoo and less motivation to actually create (since we won’t get breaks in funding due to higher taxes). Goes to show we need to step up our game, and make stuff that can sell. If we’re not making money to the point the IRS considers this a hobby then I guess it’s our own damn fault.
For more info check out Filmmaker Magazines “Why Filmmaking Can’t Be A Hobby.”