The Little-Known Benefit of Investing in Irish Art
The Irish art market, like the property market, has seen strong growth over the last 20 years. Not only has the work of many 19th and early 20th century artists appreciated in value, but contemporary artists have also benefited from rising prices and a vibrant market. However, unlike property investment, it is possible to spend relatively small amounts on individual works of art.
Buying art by promising artists before their work has become greatly sought-after represents the greatest risk in investment terms but for comparatively modest expenditure. Just as important as the choice of artist should be the quality of the particular work you buy. The best way to appreciate and acquire the most significant pieces is to view an exhibition of a body of work on display in an art gallery.
In Ireland, an art buyer can write off the purchase cost of artwork against tax, provided that the artwork is placed in his place of business where the public can view it, such as a reception area. The annual ‘wear and tear allowance’ on this capital expenditure is, at the time of writing, 12.5% per annum. Thus, most of the purchase price is recovered and the establishment of a company art collection becomes a very ‘tax-effective’ acquisition. Furthermore, unlike the fax machine and the office paper-shredder, your artwork may have increased in value in the interim.
Wear & Tear
Legislation S284 TCA 1997 states:
’The annual wear and tear allowance is 12.5% on a straight line basis. Where a corporate or individual tax payer buys a work of art and displays it at their business premises for the purpose of promoting their business, the work of art is treated as machinery or plant, and is eligible for the annual wear and tear allowance of 12.5%.’
There are significant benefits to a business having original works of art on display in terms of corporate prestige, a stimulating, creative work-environment and in contributing to the cultural life of the wider community. However, the best reason to invest in art is because it will enrich your life and you will enjoy it. Always the best advice is only to buy what you like. Contact Pigyard Gallery for advice on art suitable for the home or workplace or on sourcing work by particular artists.
Tony Robinson, Pigyard Art Gallery Ireland - copyright 2006
Tony is owner of Pigyard Gallery, a highly respected art gallery in Wexford, Ireland. He is also an expert framer, commended by the Fine Art Trade Guild.