Tax policies’ role in the development of culture

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Tax policy is a leverage tool available to governments for promoting and developing culture, especially when designed to meet the intricate and common objectives of both culture and economy.

Due to its key role, we performed a comprehensive and detailed benchmark of tax provisions in favor of culture in 16 countries (Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, India, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, the Russian Federation, the UK and the US).

Publication cover: International survey - tax policies favoring culture 

In each of the countries studied, various tax benefits have been identified that are specifically designed to develop and promote the cultural sector.

Use our key findings to help develop your culture

  • Cultural sectors most supported are the film industry, national patrimony and heritage
  • Tax incentives benefit both investors and operators of the cultural sector
  • Tax exemption is the most used method, followed by tax credit, tax deduction and reduced rates of taxation
  • Tax law-makers benefit from a full-fledged tax policies tools box (more than 340 tax measures identified), allowing them to customize strategies for each of the cultural sectors, from basic to innovative
  • Tax policies take into account all geographic aspects of culture, balancing national and local approaches
  • Sales tax and VAT is a critical area where tax policy-makers can make the difference from a quantitative standpoint, reducing the cost of access to culture and maximizing the diffusion of cultural products
  • Given current constraints on public budgets, the trend going forward should be tax policies encouraging private financing of culture, as an alternative to public financing, with a priority given to spending-based tax incentives
  • The main challenge for tax policy-makers is to integrate the business models of the internet and digital world efficiently into the existing framework of tax legislation


For further insights on the various techniques countries are using to provide tax support to cultural activities, download "The way to cultural diversity in tax policies" today.