Lyons Gallery Helmut Newton

Helmut Newton photography | Source: Lyons Gallery Facebook

Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Buy Art for Your Office

While the Australian Taxation Office views art as a depreciating asset, savvy investors recognise art for what it really is: an emerging alternate asset class and a great, tax-deductible way to transform your office space.

As the end of financial year approaches, there’s never been a better time to complete your at home work space or office with a piece of thought-provoking artwork.

What you can claim

Classified as both an investment and a depreciating asset, artwork is eligible for some hefty tax deductions. As part of the instant asset write-off measure, business owners who purchase paintings or sculptures for their business can take advantage of a 100 per cent tax deduction.

Small to medium-sized business owners turning over less than A$500 million per year are entitled to spend up to A$150,000 per asset, as of 2020, in the pursuit of transforming their office space. There’s also no limit to how many pieces of art you can claim tax back on.

And it’s not just business owners that are eligible to take advantage of the art tax back scheme. If you were a work-from-home employee during the past financial year, like so many of us were during the pandemic, you can claim up to A$300 back on artwork as part of your home office expenditure.

An emerging alternate asset class

With the global art market valued at an estimated A$72 billion, there’s no denying that views around art as an asset are drastically changing. Gone are the days when only a Monet, Van Gogh or Picasso could achieve an eye-watering auction price. Today, works from contemporary artists are easily selling for millions. Take Shot Sage Blue Marilyn by Andy Warhol for example, a piece of pop art history that achieved a record-breaking sale price of A$281 million.

What’s more is that contemporary art has been able to deliver some consistent average returns over the past ten years, with the Mei Moses Art Index posting a compound annual growth rate of 8.8 per cent between 1950 and 2021.

According to Lyons Gallery, a high-end gallery specialising in fine and pop art with nine galleries around Australia, investing in a piece may not yield an income as it’s a capital growth orientated investment. But your divided is the complete satisfaction of owning your very own piece of art.

Punchy prints

Initially regarded as an illegitimate art form, fine art photography has come a long way in its short history. Today, mixed media prints and limited-edition art photography fetch well into the millions of dollars at auction and presents an accessible and impactful way to connect with the artist’s subject and creative vision. This immediacy in the connection between art and viewer makes fine art photography the perfect addition to any interior space, particularly high-traffic office spaces.

Take this striking image of David Bowie and a jumping dog by British photographer Terry O’Neill, for example. While the black and white image makes it a versatile print to style, the visual subject matter captures your attention at once.

David Bowie with Jumping Dog
David Bowie with Jumping Dog by Terry O’Neill (1974) | Source: Lyons Gallery

Of course, you can also style boldly coloured fine art photographs with the coloured accents of your space. This alluring photograph of Isabella Rosellini by English portrait photographer Norman Parkinson would beautifully complement red accent pieces.

Isabella Rosellini by Norman Parkinson (1982)
Isabella Rosellini by Norman Parkinson (1982) | Source: Lyons Gallery

Perfectly complementing a contemporary-style space, pop art prints like the iconic work of Keith Haring, or celebrity photography prints like the work of Terry O’Neill and Chris Cuffaro, inject style and intrigue into any interior. So, if you’ve been thinking of jazzing up your office and finally adding some art to those boring and blank walls, now may be the time.

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