Art and Inheritance Tax – 51 treasures donated

by PropertyBlawg on December 6, 2012

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Guest post regarding art and inheritance tax in the UK.

Valuable paintings by Reynolds and Turner were among the fifty-one treasures allocated to the nation over the past two years through the Acceptance in Lieu (AIL) scheme.

The treasures are detailed in a recently published report by the Arts Council England. This shows that in 2010/11, cultural objects worth a total of £8.3 million were allocated to national institutions in  lieu of Inheritance Tax. In 2011/12 the donation value increased to £31.3 million.

Over the past decade, approximately £215.4 million of cultural worth has been donated to the nation, says the Arts Council.

What is the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme?

The Acceptance in Lieu scheme allows those who have a bill for Inheritance Tax to offset part of those taxes by donating important cultural, scientific or historic objects to the nation. The items accepted through the scheme are then allocated to public collections and are available for everyone to engage with and enjoy.

The background

AIL was introduced into Britain in 1910 by the then Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, as part of the People’s Budget. Over the ensuing century, thousands of important and significant items have been allocated to museums, archives and galleries across the UK – including Picasso’s Weeping Woman – and can now be accessed and enjoyed by the general public.

Recently accepted items

According to the Arts Council, a vast range of materials has been accepted for the nation over the past two years, including:

  • two paintings by the influential 18th century English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds (Maria & Robert Gideon and Lady Honywood & Daughter);
  • two watercolours by JMW Turner (Rome from Monte Mario and Lowther Castle);
  • the only known Ottoman jade tankard to be held in a UK collection; and
  • a selection of awards allocated to the famous playwright Harold Pinter.

“Philanthropy has always played an important part in contributing to this country’s cultural heritage,” said Liz Forgan, Chair of the Arts Council England. “We want to encourage more people to donate through the AIL scheme so that our nation’s public collections are further enriched for the benefit of audiences throughout the country.”

This guest post is courtesy of Wilson and Fish Solicitors, specialist executry and wills solicitors – make a will in Scotland with their lawyers based in Glasgow today.



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