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Austin Creatives' Day

Free tax prep for artists from Foundation Communities and Austin Creative Alliance

By Robert Faires, Fri., March 15, 2013

Austin Creatives' Day

Not that I'm seriously expecting anyone reading this in Austin to do his taxes this weekend, but it's worth noting that once we get past SXSW, we'll be less than a month away from Uncle Sam's annual day of revenue reckoning, and, for those of you in the creative sector who haven't yet filed your return, next Wednesday could be a big help to you. The Austin Creative Alliance has partnered with Foundation Communities, the local nonprofit that provides affordable housing and support services for low-income individuals and families, to make March 20 Austin Creatives' Day at the organization's Community Financial Center, 2600 W. Stassney. From 9am to 7pm, the center's Internal Revenue Service-certified volunteers will prepare taxes free of charge for visual artists, dancers, actors, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and anyone else who counts him- or herself as a member of Austin's creative class and makes up to $50,000 annually. All you need to supply are a photo ID, Social Security card, documentation of income, and any documentation of expenses from your creative career. To make the poring over of 1099s and receipts a little more festive, the Creative Alliance will supply live music. You can RSVP on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/482444245140489. For more information about Foundation Communities and its free tax services, visit www.communitytaxcenters.org.

So maybe you're covered on the tax front but could use some advice about a copyright for something you've created or a contract for your artistic services. For the past couple of years, the University of Texas School of Law's Law Students for the Arts and Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts have been offering an evening of free legal counseling on arts-related legal matters to low-income artists, musicians, and filmmakers, and they've recently announced a third such evening to take place March 27 (Wednesday apparently being the primo day for helping creatives work out matters of business and finance), 6:30-8pm, in the offices of Jackson Walker, 100 Congress #1100. As in the past, artists sign up for a 30-minute consultation, during which they can ask questions related to such topics as contracts, copyrights, trademarks, and intellectual property; receive assistance in completing intake paperwork; and learn if any unresolved legal matters might be eligible for further counsel at no charge. To schedule an appointment, you'll need to fill out an application and submit it to artslawclinic@gmail.com. Contact that address for questions.

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