Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Arielle Zhivko (J.D. 2024, Osgoode Hall), Concealed Masterpieces: The Intersection of Taxation and the Art Market, 176 Tax Notes Fed. 2075 (Sept. 26, 2022) (1st Place: Tax Notes Student Writing Competition):
In this article, Zhivko explores how the collection of art has morphed into a highly appealing outlet for tax evasion and avoidance and examines the evolution of art-related tax reforms and their adverse effects. She also weighs the global justice aspects of taxation and subsidies against the need for access to educational and cultural materials provided by art and museums.
Art and taxes share a cyclical relationship. The decentralized and secluded nature of the art market has provided an optimal milieu for the wealthiest to evade taxation. Governments have reformed their tax codes many times over in attempts to address these issues, but these reform efforts have often done more harm than good because they have inspired increasingly innovative tax schemes within the art market. These loopholes have evolved from simple donation-based deductions to a complex network of free ports. Each arrangement providing an increasingly creative circumvention has harmed the cultural value and sacredness of art. Art of all types and forms has been relegated from artifact to commodity. Future tax reform must regard this issue as not only a taxation problem but a fundamental threat to the cultural and educational roles of museums and their collections. The protection of art has therefore morphed from a purely cultural concern to one rooted in global tax justice.
2022 Tax Notes Student Writing Competition Honorable Mentions:
- Emily Dace (LL.M 2022, NYU)
- Luke Kastenhuber (J.D. 2024, Pittsburgh)
2017-2022 Tax Notes Student Writing Competition Winners