[QUOTE=JarodRussell;9096238Why do fan film groups need tax free status when there is no income/profit?[/QUOTE]
First, I would all love to see Renegades taken up by CBS. It is a truly original take on Trek, so writers would have new places to go with it. I look forward to it. The people involved are truly talented, and it is among the most promising proposals out there.
On the tax issue:
Just as donations to the Opera, Museums, and universities are deductible to the donor, donations to other 501(c)(3) organizations can be deducted against OTHER income on taxes. A fan film group that works regularly with the acting or film department of a university would have a very solid claim to tax deductible status.
Likewise, if I am a professional actor, producer, director, and I make a movie (say, "Europa" for example) and I spend $250,000 on it. (It was a low budget film, well reviewed, but they didn't make the budget public, so it could have been $1 million or more, I don't know.) Now, it takes in only $150,000 in the theaters, of which $50,000 goes to the theaters and advertisers, so I net $100,000. I can take a LOSS on my taxes (against other income) of $150,000 (that's $250,000-my net of $100,000). In a partnership, the loss would be divided among the investors.