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how do one handle donations - income and capital

updated mon 16 aug 04


Kathy Forer on sun 15 aug 04

On Aug 14, 2004, at 4:01 PM, pdp1@EARTHLINK.NET wrote:

> (me, earlier) > > Let's say each of them are charging the same price.
> Each pays the other the stated price [] then, each gets (or
> gives the other, ) a receipt, and each dutifully enters into their
> books, the 'income' they recieved in the transaction.
> (Kathy)> Isn't that one of the things Enron is accused of doing -- but
> without the charitable intent? A kind of "ricochet"?
> If memory serve ( and I have not watched tee vee or read the papers in
> many years now, but,) ...'enron' lied about income being higher than
> it was, lied about assets against which they borrowed money, and lied
> about assets to inflate the value of their stock, then, calculatedly
> sold their stock for a higher sale price than it would have merited if
> it had been honstly represented []

Apparently the tricky MBAs at Enron used three different financial
schemes to wreak their havoc on Grandma Millie, their investors and
their unsuspecting employees: Get Shorty, Ricochet, and Death Star
. In
Ricochet, Enron was buying power at market price, selling it out of
state, then re-buying it at higher prices, somehow avoiding the
statewide market price caps.

The similar implication this would have for your proposal is that it
would be getting around the 'tax deduction as price of materials' "tax
cap" in a similar manner, setting our own prices. And price-fixing is
an established no-no.

I do agree there is inequity and injustice when an investor can resell
an artist's work and the artist realize nothing. Or when large
corporations make deductible political donations that are actually
advertising investment while artists and potters are left with much
more cartesian methods for calculating our capital, income and expense.

> The question then is this:
> If in a barter situation, both parties may under law, be considered to
> have recieved income, (or what, pray tell, is the criteria for
> establishing who recieved income and who did not, when goods or
> services are traded?) - why is it that in situations where money is
> the barter medium for transactions involveing goods or services, why
> is the party who recieved the goods or services not found to have
> recieved income? While the party who recieved the money, is construed
> to have received income?
> What then is the actual, legal, or other workable definition of
> 'income'? It is NOT only 'money'...although money is usually part of
> it...

Interesting question as political parties in the government are
currently considering taxing expense or spending only, not income
ex=1093616722>, which brings up the interesting question of equity of
earned income vs. investment income. Or, income vs. capital.

Therefore, you might say 'income' is "income plus capital," given the
barter economy you posit. But I got a D- in Economics 101....

Last year I donated a commissioned sculpture to a blind auction and a
couple bought it for $1000. I hadn't expected it to sell (as the
wonderful donated doll-house or family portrait photo session
unfortunately didn't sell) much less go so high. I'm actually still
working on the commission, about 2/3 done now, having reassured my
auction donors with a studio visit, emailed sketches and photos. We've
considered making it a castable item that can be re-issued for the
auction, while they get the original, but after a clay sketch and then
starting a final in plastiline, I've reverted back to clay and it's
quite intricate, not very castable at all. But I'm willing to do
another for the organization, and that would work well. They could
give it as their "award" or auction it off again.

I regularly donate my time as a web designer which is pretty mundane
and workaday, -- though pleasing to be doing something that actually
has content as contrasted with a number of projects I've worked on that
are pretty shallow, -- but giving an object very satisfying, like
giving a gift to someone, which it is.

Kathy Forer