When an artist receives his or her primary income from the sale of artwork, he or she is usually taxed in accordance with the Business Tax Act. In such a case, the artistic activities are comparable to normal business activities with regard to taxation.
In the tax guide for visual artists compiled by the Artists’ Association of Finland, the main focus is on activities handled under the Income Tax Act. However, the taxation principles presented can, to a large extent, also be applied to the taxation of artists taxed in accordance with the Business Tax Act.
An entrepreneur declares the proceeds from artistic work and its costs via Form 5. There are many similarities in the deduction of costs in comparison to taxation handled under the Income Tax Act, but differences exist too, so it is important to follow the correct instructions when filing the tax return. Detailed instructions for filling in the form can be found on the Web site of the tax authorities.
An artist who receives most of his or her income from sale of artwork should obtain accounting services from an accountancy firm. Very few artists have sufficient expertise in this area. Use of accounting services is recommended also for tax-planning purposes.