Barron’s Penta: New York Comes Down on Art Collectors (1/2/16)

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New York Comes Down on Art Collectors

Art buyers must be ever more careful to pay sales taxes on art purchases—or risk big penalties.

January 2, 2016
After more than a decade’s lull, the opaque world of buying and selling art is once again under scrutiny, particularly in New York state, where local law enforcement and tax authorities are busy investigating whether collectors have been paying their taxes, requesting sales and shipping records and sending out hefty invoices in the process. A lawyer tells us he “was shocked” when he recently received a “seven-figure” tax bill, after he arranged several years ago to have a multimillion-dollar painting sent to New York from Europe, solely for a client’s viewing. While the work was ultimately shipped out-of-state upon its sale, and thereby not subject to New York taxes, “the shipper used my name as the contact person on the invoice.” The lawyer was able to resolve the matter only after presenting Albany with sufficient documentation proving he was just an intermediary… continue reading

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