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Italians pay their taxes with art donation

ItalyMore Italians pay their taxes with paintings and sculptures. This occurs after the moves by the government aimed at reviving the system of transfer of cultural property to the state instead of paying taxes. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced that the competent minister Dario Franceschini has chosen a group of experts to calculate the value of the works offered to cover the taxes on inheritance and income. Besides historical artwork government accepts donations of properties that have archaeological value, contemporary works of art, antique books and villas. The creation of this team is a “necessary step” to restart the system, which was established in 1982, but almost not used, said in a statement from the ministry.

Donation of art instead of paying inheritance tax is a widely used practice in other European countries. In Britain, a similar scheme garnered 50 million GBP (80.4 million ISD) 2012-2013 by Arts Council England. Franceschini who insists on collecting more public and private funding for the maintenance of Venice and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, argues that the adoption of art instead of taxes will help the country to achieve its “dual purpose”. “On the one hand, in times of crisis, it allows people to fulfill their tax obligations through the sale of works of art, on the other - Italy regained its historical and artistic assets”, he said.

The payment of taxes and protecting works of art and architecture are topics that have long commented in Italy. The country entered a recession for the third time in six years and trying to make budget savings. According to the Ministry of Economy tax expenditures cost the country about 91 billion EUR per year.

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