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HomeNewsGrant Berg Gallery promotes Canadian art as a tax write-off for businesses

Grant Berg Gallery promotes Canadian art as a tax write-off for businesses

The Grant Berg Gallery is continuing its efforts to put more art into businesses by promoting Canadian artwork as a tax write-off/business expense.

According to Grant Berg, a local artist and city councillor, businesses like doctor’s offices, law firms, and other professional settings can significantly benefit from having art in their buildings, as it portrays a certain level of professionalism to clients.

“You want to portray yourself as being an upscale, professional place,” he says. “Original art gives you that professionalism, that a lot of businesses want, it shows that they’re successful.”

To be eligible for a write-off, art must be created by a Canadian and include drawings, paintings, and sculptures valued at $200 or more. Berg says art matters to a business as much as any other work-related expense like desks and furniture and promotes a sense of success and comfort in professional buildings.

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“In a very simplified way, it is part of your office in the same way that you’d have a nice desk or a credenza, you would have art.”

Berg compares the system to other efforts by the federal government like CanCon radio regulations that prop up Canadian artists and musicians to invoke a sense of pride in Canada.

“They [the Canadian government] were always promoting Canadian artists, it’s a huge part of the Canadian identity and it builds pride in our country no different than CanCon on the radio,” he says. “By promoting Canadian artwork as a tax write-off or a business, it certainly helps build artists and maintains that Canadian identity.”

Additionally, some art rental options are eligible for write-offs, and Berg says renting/leasing Canadian artwork opens up even more opportunities for businesses by making artwork more accessible by alleviating some up-front costs many businesses face when they open their doors.

“It brings it down to low monthly payments,” he says. “They [businesses] want that artwork to come in, to compliment everything they’ve done, so through a rental or a lease, it brings that initial sticker shock of doing a whole office down into bite-sized monthly payments they can easily manage.”

To be eligible for an art business expense, artwork must be produced by a Canadian artist or an artist who was Canadian at the time of creating the artwork. Art not created by a Canadian is specifically excluded.

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