The 123’s of art investing

Art investing can serve many purposes. The obvious ones being the potentially high investment returns as well as the aesthetic value. There is also merit in considering this asset class from a tax and estate duty perspective.


Capital Gains Tax

  • There is no capital gains tax (during and after your death) on art work purchased for personal use. That means, if you are not an art dealer, you will not be taxed for any gains made on the sale of your art. It is important to note, however, that SARS will have the final say whether your art collection is subject to the personal-use asset exclusion or not. The size of an individual’s art collection may be a factor.



Estate duty


  • Upon your death, your art collection forms a part of your estate and will be subject to estate duty unless one of the following is done:
    • Leave your collection to the state or any public benefit organization
    • Lend it to the state, during your lifetime, for a minimum of 30 years


Other considerations


Most art galleries charge commission on art sold. This, however, is charged to the artist/seller of the art work and not the purchaser.



If you value your art and envisage keeping it for investment purposes, it may be a good idea to have it insured. There are various insurance options such as accidental damage, theft, and shipment.



Whether you display the art in your home or place it in storage, you need to consider many factors that could potentially damage your collection. Mould, humidity, excessive sunlight etc.


Art investing isn’t a random exercise and should be planned for with the help of an expert. You’d do well to speak to the relevant specialists, such as art insurers, art dealers as well as tax and fiduciary specialist to ensure that your art investment is secure both physically and financially.

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