The Legislative Yuan on Friday passed an amendment to reduce the taxes artists pay on income from auctioned art.
The amendment — which replaces the Culture and Arts Reward Act (文化藝術獎助條例) with the Culture and Arts Reward and Promotion Act (文化藝術獎助及促進條例) — stipulates that proceeds from art sales are to be taxed on a per-transaction basis, and not reported as part of an artist’s annual income. Taxes would be calculated as 20 percent of 6 percent of the final transaction amount — which reduces the tax from the income of a sold artwork by 1.2 percent.
Advocates of the amendment have said that half of creative-content producers make less than NT$30,000 per month, and that most are not enrolled in health insurance or do not work under formal contracts.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
Taiwan People’s Party Legislator (TPP) Ann Kao (高虹安) on Wednesday last week said that the TPP hoped the amendment would bolster the rights of creative industry workers and increase their participation in the labor insurance program.
The amendment, which was the first to the act since it was introduced in 1992, also added a clause that guarantees social security for unionized creative industry workers, as well as assistance for those in emergency circumstances.
Companies providing cultural services for government agencies would also be required to have business insurance under the amendment.
The separate taxation clause of the act for sold artworks would remain in effect until 2031, as the government needs to observe the policy in practice before deciding whether to extend it, legislators said.
“Twenty years ago, Taiwan was the cultural trade center of Asia, but was replaced by Hong Kong due to tax issues,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書) said.
The amendment brings Taiwan in line with international norms of separating taxation of cultural production from that of individual income, he said.
“I hope that this amendment will keep art transactions in Taiwan, and attract large auction houses and other professionals to come here,” he said.
DPP Legislator Rosalia Wu (吳思瑤) said the amendment would make government assistance more accessible to creative industry workers, who had previously been unable to access government aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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