Spanish to bring in laws that smooth the path for art sponsorship

Tax mandates pertaining to the acquisition of art will be eased for both donors and foundations

The Ley de Fundaciones y de Incentivos Fiscales, Law on Sponsorship, has been passed by the Spanish parliament and Senate, even though the Partito Popolare abstained. Subject to final approval by Congress, it should come into force.

Virtually no amendments have been made to the original draft presented last year, which allows companies and individuals to settle their tax bills with works of art deemed to form part of the national heritage. It also increases tax relief on gifts of works of art from 15% to 20%. After amendments by the Senate, contemporary art will enjoy the same benefits as works considered national heritage.

The Congress has reduced corporation tax on the income of foundations from 20% to 10%, a provision which will also be extended to sports associations of general public interest. The final text excludes private universities and bodies working for “language normalisation” in Catalonia and the Basque country from enjoying this privilege, but includes “all organisations set up for social welfare, civic, educational, cultural, sporting or health purposes”, without discriminating against “those carrying on commercial activities unrelated to the purposes referred to above”.

Finally, there is a controversial increase of 5% in tax relief on sums invested in cultural programmes “deemed to be of priority interest by the government”. This law settles how the 6,000 or so foundations which exist in Spain are to be taxed.

• Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper under the headline "Spanish bring in sponsorship law"