CRA IT 504 Visual Artists and Writers


This publication was cancelled as of 2020-10-09 and replaced with Income Tax Folio S4-F14-C1, Artists and Writers.


This bulletin deals with the determination of income, for income tax purposes, of a visual artist or writer. The main topics discussed are:

  • criteria used to determine whether a visual artist or writer is an employee or self-employed,

  • factors to be considered in determining the existence of a reasonable expectation of profit,

  • valuation of inventories,

  • implications of charitable donations of capital property

    and of inventory (including cultural gifts), and

  • artists’ employment expenses deduction allowed under

    paragraph 8(1)(q).

    The special concerns of performing artists are discussed in the current version of IT-525, Performing Artists. The word “artist” as used hereinafter refers to a visual artist.