Consultation on new tax breaks for major art donations launches

Consultation on new tax breaks for major art donations launches

News (UK)

After much call from the sector, the government has published proposals for consultation on a new scheme to encourage people to donate pre-eminent objects or works of art to the nation by offering tax incentives. 

Treasury consultation suggests relief from income tax, capital gains tax and even corporation tax for the year when 'pre-eminent' objects are given to the nation, based on a set percentage of the value of the object they are donating. 

Donating an object or work of art to the nation means that it will remain in the UK, bolstering our heritage and benefitting the public. It also allows the government to ensure that it is made available to people who wish to see it and is maintained in good condition.

Budget 2011 announced a package of measures which encourage philanthropic and charitable giving across the whole of society and at all life stages and this scheme is designed to complement this.

Justine Greening, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “We want to make it easier for people to give in a range of ways and at different stages in their life, whether through the charity bucket, by volunteering their time, through legacy giving or by lifetime donations of works of art or historical objects to the nation.  In this way, we hope to create a culture of philanthropy across society.”

Jeremy Hunt, Culture Secretary, said: “Philanthropy already underpins the cultural life of the nation, and I am grateful to all those who give their time and money to our arts and heritage. The donation of objects which enhance our public collections is equally important, and government wants to encourage people to give pre-eminent objects to the nation. With increasing international competition and a very strong art market, the UK faces a challenge in securing new acquisitions which are essential to ensuring collections remain relevant, educational and attractive to the public. I urge all those with an interest in our culture and heritage to work with government to ensure the success of this new scheme.”

The government is seeking views on a number of areas of detailed policy design for the scheme, including:

  • who will be eligible to apply for the new scheme;
  • how to define pre-eminent and how these objects will qualify for the new scheme;
  • how acceptance of offers will work;
  • which institutions will be eligible to receive objects;
  • how objects should be allocated to institutions;
  • what conditions should attach to objects allocated to institutions;
  • how the tax reduction should be calculated, including the rate of reduction which should apply per donated object; and 
  • whether there should be a cap on the amount of tax reduction per object or per donor.  

The consultation runs until 21 September 2011 and can be found at


  • Arts & heritage
  • Causes
  • UK