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Britain accepts painting to settle £4.7M tax debt
Painting of Frederick Howard, the 5th earl of Carlisle, was commissioned in 1769
CBC News Posted: Aug 10, 2016 1:59 PM ET
‘Portrait of Frederick’ — a full-length 1769 portrait of Frederick Howard, the 5th Earl of Carlisle — has been hanging in Castle Howard in North Yorkshire for more than 200 years. (Arts Council England)
Britain has accepted an 18th-century portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds as full payment in lieu of an inheritance tax bill of 4.7 million pounds ($8 million Cdn).
The painting — a full-length portrait of Frederick Howard, the fifth earl of Carlisle — has been hanging in Castle Howard in North Yorkshire for more than 200 years.
But the current owners of the portrait, commissioned in 1769, were facing big inheritance tax bills. So they offered to give up the Reynolds portrait to settle the bill.
Britain has an “acceptance in lieu” program that allows people facing large inheritance taxes to transfer important works of art and heritage objects into public ownership and get full credit for the donation.
Going to the Tate
“The acceptance in lieu scheme has been enriching our heritage for over a century,” said Edward Harley, chair of the acceptance in lieu panel. “I am delighted that this masterpiece by Reynolds, one of the most important painters of the day, has entered our national collection under the scheme.”
The panel has allocated the painting to the Tate Britain gallery in London, but it will continue to hang in Castle Howard for now. It will be shown at the Tate and other locations in Britain in the future.
Canada abolished federal inheritance taxes in 1972, but it does give charitable tax donation credits for gifts of “outstanding significance and national importance to Canada.” The Income Tax Act provides favourable tax treatment, such as the elimination of the need to pay capital gains taxes, for donations of certified cultural property to institutions and public authorities.