In a report compiled by former stock exchange chairman Sir Nicholas Goodison for the chancellor, it calls for donors to be able to set the gross value of the object against income, before the assessment of tax, and spread over a number of years, with any capital taxes due on the sale eliminated.
He urged changes in the current ‘acceptance in lieu’ system to tempt owners to make arrangements during their lifetimes to arrange offers in lieu of tax liabilities following their deaths.
He also suggested executors should be able to offer objects ‘of pre-eminent importance’ against not just inheritance tax but all forms of tax liability due on a deceased estate.
He said: ‘We have a problem that we must solve. Museums, galleries and libraries are records of our history. All over the country they offer amazing opportunities for learning and enjoyment.
‘In recent years it has been harder and harder for them to compete to buy essential works of art and culture. The most expensive objects, some of them likely to be exported, are often out of reach.’
He added: ‘In the United States private giving to public collections, with some encouragement from tax reliefs, is part of the country’s culture. I want more people in the U.K. to discover the pleasure of giving in this way.’
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