Category Archives: Art Collector

Caution! Art Claims are Taxable, Read on.

Losing treasured items is traumatic enough, imagine being taxed for replacing them.

In an insightful article by leading tax professional Julian Block, the perils of being taxed on an Insurance claim for art that has appreciated are explained.

Using the received replacement value to purchase works of other types may not qualify you for the IRS’ “complete non-recognition of gain under the involuntary conversion rules”. This means you can be taxed.

Read the incisive article below and visit ArtInsuranceNow.com for comprehensive Fine Art coverages.

*The law authorizes an important tax break for a property owner who collects insurance (or other compensation) for property lost due to fire, theft or condemnation by a governmental authority. Ordinarily, you’re liable for an immediate tax on any excess over the cost basis of your property.

But a special rule permits taxes to be deferred if the proceeds are reinvested in similar property within the deadlines imposed by the IRS for replacement. For the “involuntary conversion” rules to apply, Code Section 1033 mandates that the replacement property has to be “similar or related in service or use” to the property replaced.

Understandably, words like “similar” lend themselves to different interpretations. Also understandable is that the IRS sometimes takes a hard-nosed approach.

Consider, for example, Letter Ruling 8127089. It held that oil paintings aren’t “similar” to lithographs so as to be eligible for involuntary conversion deferral.

The ruling dealt with a request for advice from someone I’ll call Irene Holmes. A fire in her home destroyed an art collection that included about 3,000 lithographs and a small number (about 1 percent of the entire collection) of oil paintings, pencil drawings, and wood carvings. A prudent Irene had insured the collection for its full current value. As current value exceeds her cost basis, a portion of the insurance proceeds represents gain.

Irene explained that she intends to use the proceeds from the insurance to purchase the replacement property. The replacements will consist of a mix of media — approximately 63 percent lithographs and 37 percent art works in other artistic media, such as oil paintings, watercolors, sculptures or other graphic forms of art — rather than reflect the composition of the lost artwork.

With that set of facts, the IRS “will not consider as property similar or related in service or use, art work in one medium, destroyed in whole or in part, replaced with art work in another medium. Therefore, in order to qualify for complete non-recognition of gain under the involuntary conversion rules,” the IRS spelled out what Irene has to do.

She “must purchase the same percentage of lithographs as were destroyed in whole or in part and the same percentage of art works in other artistic media as were destroyed in whole or in part.”

What happens if Irene decides to reinvest as proposed (63 percent in lithographs and 37 percent in other media? She’s going to be liable for taxes on the 37 percent of the proceeds that she reinvests in “other artistic media.”

Additional articles. A reminder for accountants who would welcome advice on how to alert clients to tactics that trim taxes for this year and even give a head start for next year: Delve into the archive of my articles (more than 225 and counting).

*Reprinted with permission from a Feb 20th, 2018 article by Julian Block.

About Julian Block

Attorney and author Julian Block is frequently quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He has been cited as “a leading tax professional” (New York Times), an “accomplished writer on taxes” (Wall Street Journal), and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning magazine). More information about his books can be found at julianblocktaxexpert.com.

Risk exposures such as natural disasters and unexpected events like fire, flood, earthquakes, and storms, can cause extreme damage. Protect your art investments by obtaining an art insurance policy by Art Insurance Now / Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc.

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Visit www.ArtInsuranceNow.com to learn more, apply here or feel free to contact William Fleischer, CIC at 1.800.921.1008

Artist Studios Need Insurance Too

Many artists neglect to insure their practice because they mistakenly believe they’re already covered by a homeowner or rental policy—which are strictly limited in coverage to assets that aren’t considered part of a business. (Sorry, but at least in this case, your art, if it’s for sale, is considered a business.) Sometimes, insurance riders—essentially add-ons to a general policy—can be purchased to cover works of art or business practices, but an insurance brokerage like Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. / ArtInsuranceNow.com concentrates in the more complicated policies that art insurance typically requires. Our agency is experienced at navigating provenance and the complicated methods for valuating works of art and a familiarity with insuring studios and art collections.

 

Other artists hesitate with insurance because they’re unsure at what point a work of art is technically finished—at what point it stops being a conglomerate of a couple hundred dollars’ worth of material, and starts becoming a valuable “piece.” Fortunately, in this case, the insurance industry is largely unconcerned with such philosophical questions. Generally speaking, insurance adjustors will use an artist’s past sales to determine valuation. If you sold a similar painting for $1,000 (and can provide legitimate documentation), expect a valuation of about $1,000, unless you’ve started working with precious metals.

 

Certainly, the most tragic losses in the event of a disaster are those of human life. Second to that, for many people in the arts, are cultural artifacts. Therefore, it’s important to insure our cultural legacy. Meanwhile, insurance companies can feel very far removed from the arts—with their talk of “assets”—and scare collectors, gallerists, and, yes, even artists, from maintaining proper insurance coverage.

 

We at Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. / ArtInsuranceNow.com speak the language of the arts as well as insurance and can bridge the gap between the art community and the insurance industry to protect the legacies of the collector, gallerist, museum and artist.

Visit us at www.ArtInsuranceNow.com to learn more or call us at 800-921-1008 to speak with someone who can help with your particular needs.

Estate Planning And Affluent Art Collectors

Art collectors, are you properly estate planning? We can help. visit us at ArtInsuranceNow.com

Affluent art collectors are passionate about art. While they tend to expect their acquisitions to appreciate in value, they buy for personal and aesthetic reasons. Affluent art collectors are inclined to be extremely focused on acquiring and not very interested in disposing of art. This often means that at death they have amassed significant collections. What is surprisingly common is that many affluent art collectors do a substandard job of addressing their artwork in their estate plans.

Failing to plan for the disposition of collections upon death can prove quite costly to the family, as there is the potential to having to pay higher estate taxes. It can result in the unfair division of the art resulting in family conflict and litigation.

“Art is left to loved ones or other individuals, donated to charity directly, or in trust at the death of the collector. Proper planning means that the artwork is transferred to others very tax efficiently,” explains Frank Seneco, president of the advanced planning boutique Seneco & Associates. “Unfortunately, many times wealthy collectors have adopted the default option of not properly planning. For example, the collector is not sure which family members to leave which pieces to resulting in procrastinating and procrastinating until it’s too late. However, smart planning can often resolve these issues. One approach involves using corporate entities to own the art. This approach can not only address many ownership issues, it can simplify probate as there would not be the need to retitle the art.”

When dealing with meaningful and valuable collections, proper planning is more than constructing an estate plan. According to Evan Jehle, partner of FFO Business Management & Family Office, “Many of the ultra-wealthy have substantial art collections that they have not appropriately included in their estate plans. But, it’s more than just making sure the artwork is addressed in the plan. For example, with our clients we make sure they build files of ownership to make sure no questions arise concerning provenance. These files include certificates of authenticity, bills of sale, insurance records, and the like. A good rule of thumb is that the greater the distance between the collector and the artist and the older the artwork, the more likely there will be questions of provenance.”

Many wealthy individuals from business owners to celebrities do not construct effective estate plans. This is also true of a percentage of affluent art collectors. As in all these situations, by working with qualified professionals, the prosperous are able to ensure their wealth is passed on to whom they choose and done so while mitigating taxes.

Originally published Jan 08 2018, Forbes.com

Visit us at ArtInsuranceNow.com or contact William Fleischer CIC at 212-566-1881 Ext 111

Could buying art make you rich?

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

For one investor that dream came true. The painting ‘Salvator Mundi’ believed to be painted by Leonardo da Vinci purchased for £45 just sold for $450 million. So, is investing in art a good way to get rich quick? And how should you proceed? “with extreme caution” say financial advisors.

While stories like the recent Leonardo da Vinci sale and endless Antiques Roadshow episodes make it seem very attractive to invest in paintings and objets d’art, such cases are relatively rare. What you get back is based on supply and demand and there are big movements upwards or downwards if particular works or artists come in or out of fashion.

Attending a neighborhood garage sale or popping into a local thrift store can leave a lot to be desired. After sifting through dented furniture, chipped ceramics, and strange art, one is often left feeling that the presented merchandise is worthless. But if you are lucky enough, you may just find a diamond in the rough.

Some Top Garage Sale Finds:

  • $3 for a Ceramic Bowl, Sold at Auction for $2.2 million
  • Andy Warhol Sketch Purchased for $5, Valued at $2 Million
  • 50 Cents for a Painting worth $10,000
  • Tiffany Mirror Purchased for $2, Valued at $25,000

 

Photo of Salvator Mundi (Leonardo da Vinci)
Salvator Mundi (Leonardo da Vinci)

The high sale price of the Leonardo painting was not typical, a recent academic study, based on examining data from 1.2 million auction house sales of paintings, drawings and prints, concluded that art appreciated in value by a modest 3.97% per year, in real US dollar terms, between 1957 and 2007.

Given the current environment of low interest rates, that’s still a better return than many savings accounts will give you. Paintings are seen as attractive investments because it’s very clear what you’re buying. Part of this is driven by investors’ desire for “real assets”.

Many investors lost money in the financial crisis by investing in products they did not understand, they are turning back to things such as art. Wealthy clients spend an increasing part of their wealth on art and collectibles.

You don’t necessarily have to be super-wealthy to invest in art.

Affordable Art Fair photoThe ArtInsuranceNow.com sponsored 2017 Spring Affordable Art Fair was an excellent example of great works of art that are accessible.  There are a growing number of art fairs and online marketplaces such as Artfinder aimed at buyers with a more modest budget.

The Affordable Art Fair (AAF), which started out in London’s Battersea Park in 1999, now holds fairs in more than 10 cities around the world. But while it may be becoming more affordable, just don’t bet on becoming a millionaire yourself.

With a keen eye and a lot of luck you may come across a valuable find but most art industry experts suggest that you buy a piece of art because you like it, not because you want to get rich. “If it goes up in value that should be just an added bonus.”

Protect your valued finds by visiting us at ArtInsuranceNow.com, voted a 2017 Top Broker and listed as the “Cream of the crop” in our respective area of Art Insurance by Insurance Business Magazine. We can help with all Art related insurance requirements. Apply here or Contact William Fleischer CIC at 800.921.1008 to discuss your unique situation.

Art Insurance for Collectors; Schedule vs. Blanket

The Art of Collecting Art.

There’s a big difference between buying art and collecting art. Buying art is more of a random activity based on likes, preferences or attractions at any given moment while collecting art is more of a purposeful directed long-term commitment. An important step in good collecting is not the most delightful one to talk about, but it is among the most necessary, and that is to plan for the unforeseen.

As an art insurance broker, I readily come across collections that are an intricate part of retirement and inheritance planning.  It’s a great asset to pass down.  Baby boomers bought artwork for the love of the art.  Art as an investment vehicle was a small part of the decision-making, not like today which is the main focus.

In the past 15 years as the art market sales and demand took off, Art purchased 40, 30 or even 10 years ago is worth a lot.  Hence, I am seeing collector’s policy limits rise into the millions. I will explain some key differences in the type of policy offered in today’s marketplace. Art Insurance and collectible insurance demands are a new focus with some insurers. Beware, like the art world, no two are the same, read the exclusions, conditions and valuation clauses in a policy.

Understand what schedule means and its limitations, some say the maximum they will pay is what is on the schedule or schedule plus 125% or 150% and then some added or market value whichever is less.  A popular coverage is Blanket Insurance; usually, this is for the collection under $300,000. The advantage is that you are not required to supply the companies with appraisals, bill of sale or any other documentation when you bind the coverage.

Only at the time of loss, the onus of proof of value is on the collector.  This is not a lengthy process; either go back to your paperwork and ask for a current valuation from a dealer or show your work to a dealer and put the value in a letter. Both methods of either scheduling the art or using the blanket limit are tools I use when working with my clients.  Each person looks at insurance in different ways and has different requirements. Let me work with you and answer all your questions to present a program which is satisfactory to all those involved.

Visit us at ArtInsuranceNow.com to apply or Contact me at 800.921.1008 to discuss your unique situation.

William G. Fleischer CIC

Largest Warhol Collector’s Art Damaged in Storage, is it Covered?

Largest Warhol Collector’s Art Damaged.

Renowned Mugrabi family which owns the largest private cache of Andy Warhol pieces says its business has been brought to a standstill by a company that’s holding its entire $100 Million, 1,300-plus-piece art collection “hostage” at a New Jersey storage facility.

 

In a lawsuit filed in New York City, David Mugrabi accused Mana Contemporary of preventing the family from removing any art from its storage facility in Jersey City since last month.

 

Mana Contemporary had agreed in 2014 to store the collection in exchange for the Mugrabis’ recommendations of Mana’s services to their clients, Mana now wants more than $500,000 for storage fees, according to the complaint, and the company has also damaged 11 works of art in its custody — including pieces by Frank Gehry, Richard Prince and Jenny Saville, according to the suit.

 

Would our Collector’s policy cover the damages?

 

YES! Our Collector’s policy covers Art owned by the Collector and covers damages while in storage. The main focus would be the loss settlement. Restorers and appraisers would evaluate the work to determine the “Current Market Value”, the “Loss of Value”, and the value of the art if scheduled.  Once all information is established, then the insurance company would pay the claim.

 

A Total Loss: the company will pay “current market value” of the property at the time of “loss” or damage occurs. The “loss” or damage shall be ascertained or estimated according to such current market or schedule values.

 

A Partial Loss: The company will pay the Collector an amount mutually agreed upon based on the following:

 

(a) The cost to repair the property to its value immediately before the “loss”; or

 

(b) The difference between the value of the property before and after the “loss”; or

 

(c) The cost to restore the property as nearly as possible to its condition immediately before the “loss”. If the restored value is less than the value immediately before the “loss”, the company will pay the difference between the restored value and the value immediately before the “loss”.

 

Having the right policy in place with the right coverages help to rebuild and or restore amazing collections. The purpose of Insurance is to indemnify and restore the Insured to the situation prior to a loss. Sadly, Art is one of those objects which is very difficult to return to its original grandeur.  Nothing lasts forever, but one would hope, through proper insuring of a collection, it could be rebuilt with similar works or genres.

 

Visit www.ArtInsuranceNow.com to learn more, apply here or feel free to contact William Fleischer, CIC at 1.800.921.1008

Corporate Art Insurance 3 trends

As a leading Art Insurance Broker, I have seen a rise in 3 types of  policies focusing on the Art Corporation are showing in their  businesses.

  1. The rise of using  Art leasing/ renting companies for a short time, rotating exhibition space. These new type of lending services,  fill a niche by adding style to an office by using a wide range of art, Prints, Sculptures, Paintings, Glass and tapestry.  I have insured the works in Doctors’ offices, hospitals, corporate offices and temporary spaces, not to mention in all types of residences.
  2. Pure old fashion Corporate Art insurance. Art can make a space interesting and appealing to visitors or staff. Manny CEO Private Collections are starting to show off their collection. I design policies to insure the art while in the office, in storage or enjoyed at home.
  3. Exhibition Insurance. Many curators are able to assemble a strong show, using a common theme or thread to enhance the corporate culture creativity. They invite Artist or ask Collectors to loan works fulfilling the vision of the project.

 

EZ to apply at  www.artinsurancenow.com

As Art Basel Miami 2016 approaches, we look at the necessity of a good art insurance policy.

artbasel-miami-beachArt Basel, the international art fair with three shows staged annually in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. The shows offer parallel programming produced in collaboration with the host city’s local institutions. Art Basel provides a platform for galleries to show and sell their work to collectors, museum directors and curators. The 2015 show in Miami presented 267 leading international galleries from 32 countries. Over five days the show attracted 77,000 visitors including private collectors and directors, curators, trustees and patrons of nearly 200 museum and institution groups. The show hosted first-time collectors from Cambodia, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Romania, Togo and Zimbabwe. That’s a lot of art moving around and collectors Art policies should cover Art, when purchased, on consignment and in transit, it’s about knowing your coverage situation before it’s too late.

art-basel-miamiThe transportation of art is a tricky thing, and as fine art transportation insurance leaders we can tell you exactly what you require to know so that your insurance program will be effective and  cover you properly.  Insurance coverage during transportation, installation and exhibition of irreplaceable works of art, antiquities, and memorabilia isn’t optional and the best way to obtain the finest coverage is to visit artinsurancenow.com or call us at 800.921.1008 to speak with a knowledgeable fine art broker that can advocate for you in seeking the best possible insurance terms.

Art_Signature

 

5 Things Every Collector Needs to Know about Art Insurance

anFor many of us, amassing a robust collection of works by the artists we love is more a dream than a reality (though startups like Art Money are working to provide interest-free loans that should make buying art more manageable). But for emerging collectors and seasoned vets alike, the actual purchase of a piece is only the beginning of what it means to actually own art. Though not flashy, art insurance is a crucial part of collecting. It ensures that, should an artwork be damaged, it can be repaired or, in the case of a total loss, some kind of remuneration can be provided. So what do you need to know about art insurance? We sat down with Robert Pittinger, senior vice president and director of underwriting at AXA Art Americas Corporation, to get some helpful tips.

Know the Process

When a collector buys specialty art insurance, they’ll work directly with a broker who can assess the collection and determine what policy the collector might need. That broker, in turn, works directly with the insurance companies to find the right fit. A common misunderstanding of the process, Pittinger says, is that “collectors confuse the broker with the insurance company.” It’s helpful to know that “the role of the broker and the art insurer complement one another; however, the roles themselves vary and they are different. A specialized fine art broker is an advocate for the collector in seeking the best possible insurance terms for their clients.” As an insurer, AXA itself works with a select group of fine art brokers.

Keep Documentation

The first step toward getting insurance is—unsurprisingly—to determine what is going to be insured and for how much. To this end, documentation is key. “One of the biggest things is that the collector needs to have all the documentation for their collection before they go to the broker, because the broker has to have a very thorough understanding of the price of the collection,” Pittinger says. When approaching a broker, collectors should have a list of all the works, descriptions, invoices of sale prices, the purchase dates, and subsequent appraisal prices.“The collector’s management of their collection is critical, whether they have an online management system or a spreadsheet or they have manuals with all the documentation and their appraisals—that is a critical part of purchasing the insurance,” Pittinger says.

Assess Your Needs and Options

All this information is important to provide to the broker so they can determine what insurance is best for you. Though most collectors who need insurance already have it, some collectors think they’re covered by everyday, run-of-the-mill homeowners insurance. And they can be. But, as Pittinger notes, “A homeowner package policy generally is an add-on coverage. It doesn’t go into detail.” Homeowners insurance that covers art might have high deductibles, might not cover a collection across multiple houses, or might not cover the work during transit. That last one is a particularly sticky issue because “any time a collector moves their art, there is increased risk of damage,” Pittinger says. “That is the number one cause of loss for the insurance industry that specializes in art insurance.”

All this is why, for collections larger than just a few items, Pittinger recommends specialty art insurance. Even lower-priced works and emerging collections can receive insurance: For pieces priced as low as $2,500, AXA offers a 12-month policy of $75, with a minimum premium. Generally, however, it is hard to say exactly how much art insurance costs—it depends on too many factors. “Art insurance is very reasonably priced compared to other types of insurance,” Pittinger says. “The price range varies depending on the type of works, the size of the collection, security, where it is kept, if it is in a fine art storage warehouse or in their home or in a museum—all those factors go into pricing a fine art collection.”

Stay Up to Date and Be Careful

Broadly, in the event of damage, an insurance policy pays out in one of two ways: Either the policy will pay a set, agreed-upon amount determined by the insurer and the collector in advance, or the policy will pay out based on the work’s current market value. Pittinger says collectors opting for the predetermined payout structure may do so for a number of reasons, including peace of mind so that they “wouldn’t have to worry about substantiating the value of the works” in the case of damage. Agreed value can also move up and down over the life of a policy if the collector decides to get the work reassessed.

Current market value is exactly what it sounds like: The work is insured for its current value if that figure exceeds an agreed value. “But the important thing to remember is there would be a restriction—the company would by no means pay more than the total limit of the policy,” says Pittinger. In other words, if a collection is insured for $10 million total, and one work that has radically increased in value is damaged in excess of $10 million, the insurance would still not pay more than the total cap.

Be a Smart Buyer

One final note: Do your research. Make sure you get a full condition report prior to purchase. “It’s also critical that the collectors be careful with the provenance of the piece to make sure there’s not a gap in the ownership that could come back to haunt them later,” Pittinger says. If there is an issue and the work is seized for, say, having been looted by Nazis, insurance typically won’t cover that turn of events (there are, however, some specialty insurers that would protect against such loss with what is known as title insurance). So when it comes to art insurance, the old adage “buyer beware” certainly still applies.

—Isaac Kaplan

BY ISAAC KAPLAN

 

 

For a quote apply here or call us at 800.921.1008