Tax Incentives for the Art Market

  • Sigrid HemelsEmail author
Part of the Creative Economy book series (CRE)


Several countries apply tax incentives to promote the sale of certain works of art, such as works of contemporary artists and works of national importance. Examples include deductions for taxpayers who buy contemporary art , sometimes on the condition that the art be made accessible to the public. Although these incentives are not specifically designed to incentivize art dealers, the incentives can have that effect by reducing net or gross prices. If the price of art is reduced as a result of tax incentives, art dealers have a competitive advantage. Other examples include deductions that reduce the net price of works of significant cultural heritage . Tax incentives can also directly influence the gross price. Examples of such incentives include reduced VAT rates and customs duties, which are used in the European Union. However, the definition of “art” is problematic in this respect. Even bigger incentives are provided in so-called free ports , which have no customs duties or transfer taxes on works of art. However, these free ports may also provide opportunities for money laundering , tax evasion , and the fencing of stolen goods.


Art Art dealers VAT Customs duties Free ports 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Tax Law, Erasmus School of LawErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Allen & OveryAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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