In Mexico, artists can pay their taxes with artwork

The USA Today:

In Mexico, artists can pay their taxes with artwork

MEXICO CITY — Can't afford to pay your income taxes? Paint a picture instead.
That's the deal Mexico has offered to artists since 1957, quietly amassing a modern art collection that would make most museum curators swoon. As the 2009 tax deadline approaches, tax collectors are getting ready to receive a whole new crop of masterworks.

"It's really an amazing concept," says José San Cristóbal Larrea, director of the program. "We're helping out artists while building a cultural inheritance for the country."
There's a sliding scale: If you sell five artworks in a year, you must give the government one. Sell 21 pieces, the government gets six. A 10-member jury of artists ensures that no one tries to unload junk.

Under the program, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit now owns 4,248 paintings, sculptures, engravings and photographs by Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Leonora Carrington and other masters.

The government displays these treasures in  Mexican museums and government offices and, increasingly, loans them out  for special exhibitions around the world. Other works are stored in a  huge, climate-controlled warehouse in Mexico City. 

Certainly an interesting approach.
I think I read somewhere that the Republic of Ireland doesn't tax artists at all, i.e., no income tax on sales of paintings, sculpture, &c, nor on book royalties.

A former Prime Minister [now deceased] introduced artists and writers tax exemption in 1969. In the last year or two artists tax exemption was revised and now applies up to 125,000 euro or 166,659 us dollars. However the Prime Minister just before the present one availed himself of artists tax exemption for his autobiography, which he did not even write himself. He employed a ghost writer, and together with the idea that an autobiography of a political figure is not really an ‘original creative piece of literature’ the Artists Tax Exemption became for a while a small but floury political hot potato.

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