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Storey v. Commissioner

United States Tax Court
T.C. Memo. 2012-115 (2012)


Storey (plaintiff) was a fulltime, successful lawyer. Storey produced a documentary film in her spare time. Storey sought advice from film experts to help her. She spent a significant amount of time on her film while maintaining her job as a lawyer. Storey created a company to support her filmmaking, hired a bookkeeper and an accountant, and opened a bank account and a credit card for the business. She made a written business plan. Storey marketed the film to film festivals. The film was critically acclaimed and won awards, but Storey initially did not make any profits from the film. Despite not deriving income from the film, Storey deducted expenses she incurred in making the film from her taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (defendant) determined that Storey could not deduct those expenses, because she was not engaged in filmmaking for profit. Storey appealed the determination.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kroupa, J.)

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