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Wednesday, 4 May 1994
Page: 255

(Question No. 1099)


Senator Jones asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications and the Arts, upon notice, on 28 February 1994:

  With reference to the donation to the Mitchell Library, Sydney, through the Taxation Incentives Scheme for the Arts, of a photographic portrait of colonial doctor, William Bland, which is believed to be the oldest surviving Australian photograph:

  (1) When was the Taxation Incentives Scheme set up.

  (2) What level of incentives are offered for the donation of art.

  (3) How many donations have been made and which organisations received the works.

  (4) What is the estimated commercial value of major donations.

  (5) Who donated the artworks and what benefits did they receive under the Tax Incentives Scheme.


Senator McMullan —The Minister for Communications and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) The Taxation Incentives for the Arts (TIA) Scheme was announced in the 1977-78 Budget speech in the Federal Parliament. It was trialled over a three year period and came into permanent operation on 1 January 1981.

  (2) Donors are entitled to claim a tax deduction for the market value of their donation. The value is established by obtaining at least two valuations from valuers approved for the purpose of the TIA Scheme.

  (3) Since the inception of the TIA Scheme, there have been approximately 14,000 items and over 2,000 collections gifted through the Scheme. It is not possible to provide details of all recipient public collecting institutions. However, a recent analysis over an 18 month period indicated that 39% of donations went to art galleries, 34% to libraries and 27% to museums.

  (4) Details of the commercial value of individual major donations are not publicly available as this would breach the privacy requirements of the Income Tax Assessment Act. However, to date, donations to a total value of $104 million have been made through the Scheme.

  (5) This information is also subject to the privacy requirements of the Income Tax Assessment Act and therefore details cannot be provided.