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TonyTax
TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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my partner is a book illustrator and he gets paid for this.

Resolved Question:

my partner is a book illustrator and he gets paid for this. He has many of his own original illustrations stored in the attic which he would like to sell because they are getting in the way. What would be the tax situation be on any money received from these sales?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  TonyTax replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Is your partner self-employed? In what form are the illustrations he wants to sell? How would he sell them?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He is self employed. The illustrations are pen and ink and watercolour originals from existing published children's books, which he owns the right to dispose of as he see fit. He would probably put them on Ebay individually or in small sets including the cover illustration and two inside pictures maybe. He would sign each one and send them by post to buyers.

Expert:  TonyTax replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Leave this with me while I draft my answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I forgot to add that the quantity of pictures could amount to a few thousand illustrations. We haven't counted them, although he may not want to sell all of them. Thanks

Expert:  TonyTax replied 3 years ago.

Hi again.

There are two possible ways the profits from the items your partner wants to sell could be taxed.

TRADING PROFITS

The way I would advise your partner to disclose the sales is as part of his income as an illustrator. In my opinion, they are part of his stock and, as you say, he is free to do with them as he sees fit. Take a look at BIM33035, BIM33040 and BIM33045 for more information on HMRC's views on what constitutes stock.

PROFITS FROM SALE OF CHATTELS

If your partner was a buyer of one of the originals and it had increased in value and was later sold, I would regard it as a chattel. The taxing of profits from the disposal of chattels is dealt with in HMRC helpsheet HS293 here. The disposal of individual items for £6,000 or less do not need to be reported to the tax office. However, if some of the illustrations could be said to form a "set", then the disposal proceeds for the individual parts of that set are treated as one disposal even if they are sold to unconnected buyers and there may be a liability to Capital Gains Tax.

I doubt that the tax office would accept that the illustrations were your partner's chattels, given his profession and the fact that they have each been used to earn him an income as an illustrator. Even if that were not his profession and he drew as a hobby, if he subsequently made a habit of selling his work, he would be treated as running a business and his profits would almost certainly be charged to income tax and national insurance contributions accordingly.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.

TonyTax and 2 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No need for more help at present thankyou

Expert:  TonyTax replied 3 years ago.
You probably received an automated email. I need to respond to your post or the system prevents me from answering other questions so please don't reply to this and ignore any other communications.