The Perfect Example for the Tax Issues

The ADAGP found common ground with Sotheby’s but not with Christie’s, whose refusal to comply is based on considerations of community law 60. It should be noted, however, that the society of authors in the graphic and plastic arts ADAGP which claims a reproduction right on the works reproduced in the catalogs of Anglo-Saxon auction houses has made it clear that it does not claim payment of this right for the publications of operators paying the resale right in France 61.

It should be noted that, for the moment, it is not planned to maintain in favor of voluntary sales companies the exception provided for by article 17 of the law of 27 June 1997 in favor of auctioneers for their catalog available to the public “for the sole purpose of describing the works offered for sale”. Thus, the discrimination suffered by art galleries should end “from above”, while leaving a problem of load for the entire country market. Using the sales tax calculator zip code is important.

ISF, the eternal threat

Like the phoenix, the threat of the inclusion of works of art in the wealth tax base continues to reappear.

The Socialist deputies of the National Assembly’s finance committee proposed, during the examination of the last finance law, to subject works of art to the solidarity tax on wealth (ISF).

The supporters of the measure make it first of all a question of principle: “a good tax, that is to say a tax well received by public opinion, can only suffer very few exemptions or special deductions. For a levy not to elicit a legitimate reaction of rejection, it must be fair, that is to say that it also applies to all the taxpayers concerned”. It would be a question of to alleviate a “congenital vice” of the ISF which is a “very narrow base, weighing almost exclusively on real estate, and consequently its tax rates are too high” 62.

  • In fact this proposal took up a suggestion from the report of the National Tax Council of June 1998.
  • On the basis of an argument highlighting the narrowness of the base, the Council notes that the exemption of works of art can “appear to favor the holders of important heritage”.


Considering, however, that the taxation of these goods would pose to the tax services practically insoluble problems of assessment and control and that the abolition of the exemption would also risk disrupting the “necessary modernization of the country art market”, the Tax Council suggested including works of art and collectibles in the tax base of the ISF, while simplifying and flat-rate their taxation, by proposing to include works of art and collectibles in the furniture package set at 5% of the value of the heritage.