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Filmmaking not a hobby; filmmaker wins case against IRS

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Bob Cole
Filmmaking not a hobby; filmmaker wins case against IRS
on Apr 23, 2012 at 2:41:52 pm

Also posting this in Indie Films, because the COW still doesn't have a "law" forum.

On April 19, Producer/Director Lee Storey won her case against the IRS, which had claimed that her documentary work was a "hobby," since she earns her living as a lawyer. Numerous groups supported her claim that she had in fact tried to make money with her film, "Smile 'Til It Hurts: The Up With People Story."

The IRS wanted $250,000 plus penalties; the Tax Court ruled that she was engaged in a real business.

The item is covered in today's New York Times, Art Section.

Bob C.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Filmmaking not a hobby; filmmaker wins case against IRS
on Apr 23, 2012 at 5:45:48 pm

Wait?...Hobbies are not a right-off? ;-)

Seriously though, good for her.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Steve Martin
Re: Filmmaking not a hobby; filmmaker wins case against IRS
on Apr 24, 2012 at 1:16:17 pm

With tax revenues down because of the economy, our friends at the IRS are stepping up enforcement and likely "interpreting" rules in their own favor. And unlike criminal court, there is no presumption of innocence.

In other news, they can (and are) also routinely delaying refund checks by up to 180 days. Ask me how I know!

In my case it was officially labeled "detailed review" but they didn't ask for any additional documentation or information. Granted, they'll pay you (very low) interest, but I suspect what they really wanted was access to my money during last summer's debt ceiling crisis.

Production is fun - but lets not forget: Nobody ever died on the video table!


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Stephen Smith
Re: Filmmaking not a hobby; filmmaker wins case against IRS
on Apr 25, 2012 at 5:12:14 pm

Looks like she just got a story for her next documentary.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

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