Sat, Sep 29, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Donate your art and pay the price

Chen Chung-kuang stands next to a painting by his father, Chen Cheng-po, in Taipei on March 29.

Photo: Sung Chih-hsiung, Liberty Times

Say a renowned artist wants to donate a work of art to a public art museum to fulfill a personal wish or desire, and say that work is worth around NT$10 million. That person will have to declare it on their taxes the following year, and will only be exempt from paying taxes on NT$6 million of the total NT$10 million while still having to pay taxes on 20 percent of the remaining NT$4 million. In other words, donating such a painting to the nation does not keep one from having to pay income taxes on NT$800,000 to the government. This phenomenon is happening right now and makes absolutely no sense.

Word has it that the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts (KMFA) is facing a lack of funding to expand its collection. The museum was also allegedly unaware that most of the famous artists and their family members donating art to the museum were being forced to pay taxes on the market value of the works they donated to the museum. In an attempt to deal with the issue, Beatrice Hsieh, director of the KMFA, says that she is in the process of communicating with the tax authorities and hopes to find a reasonable solution to the problem to avoid turning artists and their families off from giving donations to museums.

But which artists are making donations and what is the value of the works they are donating? Hsieh did not divulge the precise value of the works donated to her museum, but says aside from working hard to find ways to solve each individual case, she hopes that the central government will establish clearer regulations or at least provide a formal letter explaining the situation to art museums that have detailed rules for accepting works into their collections and careful systems for appraisals. Not doing so would deter artists and collectors from donating art to public art museums in the future, she says.


1. divulge v.

洩漏 (xie4 lou4)

例: During confession she divulged her secret sins to the priest.


2. appraisal n.

鑑價 (jian4 jia4)

例: The appraisal of the cello says that it is worth around NT$500 million.


3. deter v.

阻斷(意願) (zu3 duan4 (yi4 yuan4))

例: The potential consequences of commenting on the matter deterred him from making any remarks at all.


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)





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