A stack of donation requests are collecting on my desk. This week alone, I’ve received five new requests for auction donations of my art for fundraising events. One of the largest auctions that I support is the annual KAKM Public Television Art Showcase Auction. A large pair of steel seals were delivered to the station last week. Two other good causes that have metal sculptures coming are the Duct Tape Ball, and the Fire & Ice Gala, major events whose auction funds will benefit many worthy local programs. I understand the necessity of donating in a tough economic climate and try to be supportive as I can, especially for organizations and causes close to my heart. That’s usually ANYTHING that benefits kids, women, families, the hungry, education, animals or the arts. However, it chaps my butt when uninformed volunteers try to goad me into donating my art, or “anything I have lying around” to an event
because I will “be able to write it off.” First, Daddy-O and I max out on our charitable giving every year without fail –NOT including my art donations. Second, artists donating their works to non-profits receive a deduction ONLY for the cost of materials used to create the work, period. NOT the fair market value of the art, ever. Americans for the Arts has been working for some time now on a proposal to allow artists to claim a deduction
for the full value of certain donated works. However, under current law, artists may still deduct ONLY the cost of materials. H.R. 1126 was to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 “to provide that a deduction equal to fair market value shall be allowed for charitable contributions of literary, musical, artistic, or scholarly compositions created by the donor.” Unfortunately, this bill never became law. On Feb 23, 2009 H.R. 1126 (you can track additional information on this bill here.) was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session all proposed bills and resolutions that haven't passed are cleared from the books.