How superannuation laws are strangling Australia’s art scene
Art Business

How superannuation laws are strangling Australia’s art scene

A superannuation rule is believed to be contributing to stagnant Australian art sales. Art sales in Australia have hovered around the same level for almost a decade, and an obscure superannuation law is partially to blame for the woes. While art sales lifted 6 per cent globally in 2018 (up to a whopping $67.5 billion), in Australia only $107 million worth of art moved through auction houses, according to Dr David Challis. Dr Challis – a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Melbourne’s School of Culture and Communication Art History program – said those numbers are comparable to the past 10 years, and 39 per cent below the peak in 2007. Surprisingly, one of the driving factors is a drop in demand for art following changes to superannuation law in 2011, when the tax office announced that artworks purchased by self-managed superannuation funds could not be stored or displayed in the fund members’ homes. Business owners are permitted to store art bought through an SMSF in their offices, but again the pieces can’t be displayed. Instead, those pieces have to be locked away in storage or leased to galleries, or the funds’ members will face serious financial penalties. Worryingly […]

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