Works of arts produced within the past 21 years are subject to 17.5 per cent value-added tax. This is a disincentive to the trade in works by contemporary British artists, and a restriction on their potential income.
Moreover, zero rating at present encourages sales of art from British collections, often for export (albeit through British auction houses). It offers dealers increased profits from the sale of the national heritage, and owners of works of art an unnecessary incentive to sell. Could the Treasury's timing for the suggested sale of the Government collection, coming as it does prior to the charging of VAT to potential purchasers, be in any way related to the EC directive?
Visual Arts and Galleries
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