I was wondering when you should change from being a hobbyist to a professional artist, for taxation purposes. I'm 22 and studying full time, so my art is not my main source of income. I enter a few competitions but I mainly work with portrait commissions, mainly through friends and word of mouth. At the moment I seem to be getting a commission every few months. I'm also working on a book cover for a publishing company, I got that through a friend too. I have a website, www.emmallewelynart.com
, and for the sake of getting more commissions I'm trying to make it look as professional as possible.
I'd love to make a career out of being a professional artist, but with my studies I don't yet have the time to actively market myself to get enough work. I've been told I should start using contracts and bills of sale with my commissions, which would work to make myself look more pofessional to the client. But does that mean I need to register as a business and get an ABN? It sound complicated with tax and everything. I just don't want to get into trouble with the tax people for not declaring earnings!
Advice would be greatly appreciated =]