Edited by Ruth Towse
Chapter 57: Tax Concessions
John O’Hagan Introduction Taxation measures aiding the donation of gifts or bequests to the arts are applied on a major scale in the USA (see O’Hagan, 1996, and Schuster, 2006). Some of these measures have formed the cornerstone of government policy towards the arts in the USA since the beginning of the twentieth century and they are defended vehemently to this day. In contrast, while such measures exist in some countries in Europe they have rarely been used on any significant scale. Despite this, there are many who call for more of a US-type tax policy in Europe, and such calls appear to have increased in number and volume in recent years. There have, however, been trenchant criticisms of the US tax policy measures in relation to charitable contributions as they apply to the arts, the most authoritative and comprehensive of these being that by Feld et al. (1983).1 Despite the force of the arguments in this book, few involved in the arts or policy-making in the USA appear today to question this tax policy as a means of channelling public money to the arts. Weil (1991) in particular, in an elegantly argued piece, defends these tax policies over direct government grants and bemoans the diminution of the scale of the tax incentive resulting from tax changes in the USA. Simon (1987) also defends tax concessions over government grants in a very comprehensive review of the tax treatment of non-profit organizations in the USA. It must be noted, however,...
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