Sunday, 20 December 2015

Artist makes a cutting statement on ‘poisonous’ HMRC

Artist makes a cutting statement on ‘poisonous’ HMRC

19 December 2015 




A Dundee-born artist has staged a creative protest against a decision to stop her working tax credits.
Boo Paterson, 44, has made a paper-cut artwork out of the benefit rejection letters which arrived after HMRC deemed her freelance art business “non-commercial”.
The piece shows two vultures gorging on one of her much-publicised artworks, a paper-cut depiction of the Glasgow School of Art’s Rennie Mackintosh building, which was devastated by a fire in May 2014.
Boo explained that this represents the government “destroying freelancers and small businesses”.
She said: “HMRC decided to stop my Working Tax Credit, based on an audit of three random months they chose in the year, claiming my business was ‘not commercial’.
“But they gave no reasons as to how they reached that decision, making it impossible to appeal.
“I really relied on working tax credit to allow me to buy food and heat my home while I establish my art business, which is only in its first year.
“But HMRC seems to despise artists unless they’re multi-millionaires.
“I wanted to turn this poisonous decision and the paper it was written on into something creative.
“It makes me feel slightly better about not being able to afford food any more.
Boo Paterson now lives between Edinburgh and New York but visits Dundee regularly to catch up with old friends.
Her work is currently being exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy Open Exhibition.
An HMRC spokesman said: “We do not comment on identifiable tax credits applications.

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