For many years heritage property has attracted various reliefs from taxation leading to a complex web of law and HMRC practice. These can make the ownership of works of art, historic houses and estates, which are often acquired through inheritance, complex and daunting.

Our team of art and heritage lawyers supports and guides our clients through the complexities of this area. We frequently advise clients on the tax efficient passing of collections or property down the generations; on appropriate ownership structures; the claiming of heritage reliefs and the negotiation of exemptions and undertakings with HMRC (and acceptance in lieu schemes).

We work regularly with the leading auction houses, valuers and other experts.

Areas of focus

Our expertise in art and heritage law includes the following:

  • Structuring to enable collections to pass down the generations tax efficiently.
  • Advice on the appropriate vehicles for the ownership of collections of works of art.
  • Securing and maintaining tax reliefs for heritage property.
  • Negotiating exemptions and undertakings with HMRC.
  • Loan agreements with museums and art galleries.
  • Agreeing private treaty sales, acceptance in lieu and hybrid schemes.
  • Working with auction houses and dealers to achieve the best outcome on a sale, at the minimum burden of tax.
  • Advice on disputes, usually related to attribution or valuation.
  • Advice to non-UK domiciliaries on the use of offshore funds to acquire works of art.

Claiming heritage property exemption on a mansion house in the north west of England with a supporting maintenance fund.

Advising a client on the Estate Duty and Capital Gains Tax charges that would arise on a sale of an exempted collection in his lifetime.

Advising on the availability of Business Property Relief as an alternative to heritage exemption.

Liaising with a leading auction house on acceptance in-lieu negotiations with HMRC.

Negotiating terms with a leading auction house on the sale of a private collection at a single collection auction.

Advising on an application to the National Heritage Memorial Fund by a heritage property owning charity.

Agreeing terms for the loan of items to Historic Royal Palaces.

Meet the team
Tom Hewitt

Tom Hewitt Partner

  • Private Wealth
  • Head of Estates and Land
  • Head of Food and Farming
Jim Aveline

Jim Aveline Partner

  • Private Client Services
  • Family Offices and Family Businesses
  • Food and Farming

What others say...

Burges Salmon is highly technical and responsive in all their areas of expertise.

Chambers UK 2024

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