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Documentary Filmmakers 1, IRS 0

by Dre Rivas.

A couple weeks ago documentary filmmaker Lee Storey won her case against the Commissioner of Internal Revenue after the IRS said she could not deduct expenses from her film, Smile ‘Til It Hurts: The Up with People Story.

Since her primary job is that of a lawyer, the backwards thinking went – and because her documentary (despite making the rounds at some festivals in 2008 and her continued efforts to make the film a success) failed to become profitable – her filmmaking is nothing more than a hobby and deductions were not justified. See, if her documentary did turn a profit and if the success of her documentary allowed her to quit her day job to be an actual filmmaker instead of an aspiring filmmaker, then she could deduct those expenses.

Read the rest of this article from Film.com

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