Artists' relief as super changes nixed

Aboriginal Art Directory | 05.08.10

Investing in art for your retirement has got the all-clear, but hanging that framed nest egg on your wall could be a no-no if Labor is re-elected next month.

In news that will have Australian artists breathing a little more easily, Labor announced last Friday that it would not move to exclude art from the list of eligible assets for self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), as per the recommendations of the Cooper review of superannuation.

The ALP instead has promised consultation with the industry, and the adoption of an approach that is "broadly in line" with that advocated by the Self Managed Super Funds Professionals Association of Australia.

The industry body's guidelines on art purchased by SMSFs state: "The investment must not be stored or maintained in any premise owned or occupied by any related party."

That in effect means that anyone who buys art through an SMSF in the hope that it will appreciate in value and provide retirement income will be able to access the tax benefits of superannuation but will not be able to enjoy the art work as it appreciates. It will, in all likelihood, need to be stored under lock and key and away from its owner's gaze.

Labor joins the Liberals and the Greens in moving in recent weeks to distance themselves from the Cooper review's position that art should be considered an "exotic" category of investment, alongside fast cars and yachts. That means the recommendation is all but dead.


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