Whoever owns art should always make sure to keep all the papers relating to value and ownership. At the time of sale, you want to make sure you don’t end up paying tax on the entire sale price.
Normally, residents of Spain who sell art works pay taxes according to the so-called ‘low rates table’ that applies to profits on investments. You just state the profit that you make in that year’s income tax. That way, you only pay income tax on the profit you made.
The Spanish tax authorities may decide to set up an inspection to determine the original purchase price. Whoever has purchased the artwork in question will have saved the receipt. A bank statement is already sufficient. In the case of higher amounts, proof of ownership may be required or proof of the value stated in the insurance policy.
Did you not buy the artwork, but received or inherited it? In that case you may be asked to hand over the appraisal reports that have been made. The profit will be determined based on them. So make sure that you keep them.
If you cannot show any papers at all, the tax authorities may decide to claim tax on the full sale price. Of course you want to prevent that!
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