State of the Arts Blog

Venus De Mars’ long tax battle ends, in her favor

For the past 18 months, musician, painter and performer Venus De Mars has been battling with the Minnesota Department of Revenue over her status as a professional artist.

The department ruled that De Mars is not a professional artist and cannot claim tax deductions for artistic work, and therefore owed several thousand dollars in back taxes.

Venus De Mars and wife Lynette Reini-Grandell (Photo by Wing Young Huie)

This morning Venus De Mars sent out the following note to friends and fans:


Today, Thursday May 29th, we received the official "Notice of Determination on Appeal" from the Minnesota Revenue dept.

After a few paragraphs which summarize the appeals interview discussions, It reads:

"After reviewing all of the information available, it is our determination that the taxpayer's art/music activity was engaged in for profit as defined under Treasury."

We won.

...after a hear and six months, after your generous donations of over $12000.00, (all spent on legal fees,) I am now considered a "Working Artist" in the state of Minnesota.

De Mars will be celebrating and performing tomorrow night at Patrick's Cabaret.

I'll be interviewing De Mars tomorrow, and will have more on the story next week.