Tax Deduction for the Purchase of Artworks

Verified on September 4, 2018, FRANCE – Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister). For foreigner tax legislations please refer to your respective country.

Companies that purchase original works of living artists to exhibit them to the public or musical instruments intended to be loaned to artists may, under certain conditions, deduct the acquisition cost from their taxable income.

Attention: The deduction scheme requires the ability to record the deductible acquisition cost to a special reserve account on the company’s balance sheet, which effectively excludes individual entrepreneurs subject to the BNC category, mainly liberal professions, who do not have the ability to create such an account in their balance sheet.

Original work by a living artist
To benefit from the deduction, the company must exhibit the artwork in a location accessible for free to the public or employees, excluding their offices, for 5 years (the period corresponding to the acquisition year and the following 4 years).

The works concerned are:

  • Paintings, drawings, watercolors, gouaches, pastels, monotypes, entirely executed by the hand of the artist,
  • Engravings, prints, and lithographs, printed in limited numbers directly from plates entirely executed by the hand of the artist, regardless of the technique or material used, excluding any mechanical or photomechanical process, productions in all materials of statuary art or sculpture and assemblies, as long as these productions and assemblies are entirely executed by the hand of the artist, excluding jewelry, goldsmithing, and jewelry articles, sculpture casts limited to 8 copies and controlled by the artist or his successors,
  • Handmade tapestries, based on original designs provided by the artist, limited to 8 copies;
  • Unique ceramic pieces, entirely executed by the hand of the artist and signed by him; enamels on copper, entirely executed by hand, limited to 8 numbered copies and bearing the signature of the artist, excluding jewelry, goldsmithing, and jewelry articles,
  • Photographs taken by the artist, printed by him or under his control, signed and numbered up to 30 copies, all formats and supports included.

NOTE: Craft or mass-produced items do not qualify as original works. The artist must be alive at the time of the artwork purchase. The company must be able to justify the artist’s existence at the acquisition date.