The UK tax system just got a lot more interesting…and troublesome. Apparently the UK has a program called Acceptance in Lieu in which they allow the bartering of art to cancel out inheritance taxes. And this is exactly what happened in this case in which a man has settled his $265k debt by giving the government his Dancer Looking at the Sole of Her Right Foot (shown).
SO…here is where the troublesome part comes in. Pardon my being blunt…but isn’t this just a way for wealthy folks to get away with not paying taxes in order to hand over artworks that probably were handed down from their wealthy relatives? I mean, c’mon. Your average guy who might be behind in his taxes for one reason or another has no chance of using this system, nor does the government have an incentive to be lenient with them. Kinda…bullshit, right?
Now the issue of cultural preservation does come into play. Certainly it’s reasonable to argue that the exposure of these works is worth more to public education and the government can potentially make more money through tourism than collecting these individuals taxes – but I can’t help but think of how classist this whole thing is.
I mean, can’t you just tell the rich guys with the artwork that they need to pay their friggan taxes….and btw we’d love it if you would loan us your statue for the Tate’s new exhibit?
Ive compiled a list of things that I’D like to barter with the IRS…I sure hope it works out!
1. the neon pink silk screened owl on wood board I got at Urban Outfitters (it was on sale but they don’t need to know that!) I think it’s an exceptional work of post-postmodern graffiti art. no really.
2. the cool fabric I had left over from an Ikea trip that I framed – hey, they did it in the catalog I was all “hey! that’s cheap and easy!” and all “they’ve got MEATBALLS here?!”. I hope they consider this for a neo-dada found-art revisionist movement exhibition.
3.the collection of empty wine bottles currently growing in the corner of my apartment…an installation piece I’d like to call “messy encounters with recently moved furniture and wallowing in art criticism frustration”. Shit, who am I kidding? I’d be happy just getting the deposits on those back.
BBC News /