Early in the morning of November 18, the Senate approved a measure that would allow artists to take a tax deduction for the fair market value of works donated to charitable organizations. If accepted by the House, it will take effect on January 1, 2006, and would expire on December 31, 2007, unless renewed by Congress.
Americans for the Arts, along with the Association of Art Museum Directors, has long advocated for the measure’s passage. It is also supported by organizations representing artists, museums, scholars, and libraries.
Under current law, artists may take a tax deduction only for the cost of materials, such as paint and canvas. It is important to note that under the new provision, only gifts that are retained by the recipient for mission-related use would generate a full deduction. Gifts that are sold or auctioned, even in order to raise funds that are put to charitable use, would not qualify.