Art Fund responds to Government consultation on tax incentives

  • 15 September 2011

The Art Fund has responded to the Government's tax consultation for a new scheme to encourage the donation of art and artefacts to the UK public.

The People's Museum Copyright: KIPPA MATTHEWS

The People's Museum

The Art Fund has responded to the Government's tax consultation for a new scheme to encourage the donation of art and artefacts to the UK public.

Lagging behind

The UK lags behind many other countries in the incentives offered for gifts of art and the proposed scheme seeks to remedy this, as part of the Government’s broader philanthropy agenda. It is hoped that this new scheme will appeal to owners of objects and collections who want to see them placed in appropriate institutions during their lifetime, and to be accessible in perpetuity for others to enjoy.

Response

The Art Fund has sought the views of a range of people – including our members, museum and gallery professionals, tax advisers, corporates and major cultural philanthropists, including Lord Sainsbury, Paul Ruddock and Michael G. Wilson – to help shape our response. Overall, the proposed scheme is welcomed and is very much a step in the right direction. However, there are a small number of difficulties that sit at the heart of the scheme and threaten to undermine its chances of success.

One of the main issues that we feel is vital to amend is that ownership must effectively reside with institutions, not ‘the nation’. There is significant concern about the proposal that the Government will own and lend the donated objects to museums. This is unlike the AIL scheme, under which full title and responsibility is passed to the institution. All the philanthropists and potential donors we have spoken to have highlighted this as a key problem in the scheme’s design.

We have written a detailed response to the Government outlining our main concerns with the proposed scheme and answering specific questions put by the consultation.

You can download the full response as a PDF here.

PDF Version