In most decisions of the United States Tax Court, you'll find a phrase something like the following one: "Deductions are a matter of legislative grace, and the taxpayer bears the burden of coming within the terms of a particular statute." If you don't believe me, go to the webpage of the court and conduct a search, and you'll see. You see, "grace" comes up so often because to escape taxes on any income you need a "grace." Believe me, you need grace. So as writers and artisans who freelance, you need to know which particular statutes provide the graces you need.
Now, you might be saying, I am a new writer or a new artisan, and I haven't made any money yet, so I don't have any income. My question back to you is: so how do you live? You don't have any income, or you don't have any income from writing or from your artistry? No income from freelancing at all? If you don't have any income, you don't owe any tax. No income: no tax. Income: maybe tax. It depends upon grace, lovely grace. She's a comely lady.
So what grace do we need to focus on mostly? We need to consider section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code. Don't let the sun go down without considering section 162. (Photograph by Michael Graebler.)