Tax­ing ques­tion

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I see many ar­ti­cles about sell­ing im­ages and would like to make a point which is sel­dom men­tioned or stressed. Once you sell just one im­age you have ef­fec­tively be­come a pro pho­tog­ra­pher and sub­ject to pros’ rules. For a start I be­lieve in­come from sales must be de­clared, as it is earned in­come and that in­come may be sub­ject to in­come tax.

Sec­ond, peo­ple sell­ing im­ages have to be very aware of the im­pli­ca­tions of model and property re­leases; treat the sub­ject lightly and you may well be taken through the courts, and an ama­teur pho­tog­ra­pher may not have the means and back-up that a pro­fes­sional will have in terms of money and re­tained le­gal help. David Jackson, via email Those are good points, David. N-Photo has an in­ter­na­tional read­er­ship, and we can’t cover the laws for ev­ery coun­try, but broadly speak­ing, you are cor­rect. Here in the UK a per­son would need to reg­is­ter as self-em­ployed be­fore start­ing paid work – af­ter that, it’s sim­ply a mat­ter of fill­ing in an an­nual tax re­turn, which isn’t that com­pli­cated as long as re­ceipts and records are kept through­out the year.

On the is­sue of model re­leases, if an im­age doesn’t have one, rep­utable stock li­braries and agen­cies won’t sell it for any pur­pose where a release form would be re­quired, such as ad­ver­tis­ing.

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