Male and female walking across bridge.

Is an Old Master the same as office chair? The devil's in the detail

07 April 2014. Published by Davina Given, Partner

In March 2014, the English Court of Appeal determined that Omai, an 18th century masterpiece by Sir Joshua Reynolds, was an item of "plant or machinery" and a "wasting asset", no different from other trade equipment such as tables, chairs and cars.

As a result, the gain in value realised on its sale was exempt from Capital Gains Tax.  While this decision seems counter-intuitive, it rests on a close analysis of the relevant legislation and will be of interest of all owners of valuable art where the art is used in a business.

For more on the case including the factual background and case comment please click here.

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