Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Taxation and the 'Starving Canadian Artist'

I haven’t been very productive in the ‘creative’ sense the past number of days. I have been toiling under the taxing task of taxation. Taxation and the producing artist! And, trying to be honest about income earned, have attempted to claim the pittance earned from the sale of a few canvases last year.  Big mistake! After two continuous days at this task I am convinced I should have listened to those who proclaimed ….”don’t bother….who’s to know”!

Sooooo……much to my stupidity I dutifully read Business and Professional Income bulletin….backwards and forwards. Called taxation offices; they referred to me to yet another bulleting T?something or other; and a follow-up call to another bulletin T?something or other!

I need to know how other “starving Canadian artists” handle taxation. Any pointers, other than a chartered accountant would be most welcome!

Did you know that I am supposed to know how much of a certain tube of paint was used to produce a certain canvas; and the cost of that canvas…..”well”, says she “you must buy your canvas by the bolt; figure out how many and what size!” WHAAT. I am a “starving artist” remember; I buy canvas by the piece and eke out as many as possible.
Did you know that I should be able to tell you exactly what the attached painting – ‘Jackpine Sunrise’ cost me to produce. How much paint from which tube was used for this canvas; how many canvases I have produced using said tube of paint!    I am squeezing some of these tubes with pliers to get every lost drop of paint.  Some I purchased twenty-five years ago a student; some I purchased at a sidewalk art sale!  Am I supposed to calculate the price of the paint twenty-five years ago and convert to today's inflated prices?  What about wastage I ask....."wastage" says she;  "well, that must be considered under....." and this point I stopped listening!

Wonder they didn’t tell me to calculate how much graphite I used to produce a sketch or how much shoe leather was worn away seeking out the special spot for that special sketch.

Anyway, enjoy the painting……..but I definitely do not know how much it cost to produce. I informed the kindly taxation person if they wished to know, they could figure it out! Because next year I am going to produce ‘Wally’s Widgets’; there’s a complete text book out there on this venture and taxation!


  1. What a nightmare we have nothing like that over here.If you are retired it gets even easier. I wish you well I think I would be putting in very good guesses and no more and hope they accept that. LIke the painting on this blog Ruby

  2. Hi Ruby - you were mentioned in Ralph's blog so thought i would check you out - hope thats ok