Artists In Mexico Can Pay Their Taxes In Paintings And Sculptures

If you really hate paying taxes it might be time to move to Mexico and become an artist. Artists in Mexico can participate in a unique program called “Pago en Especie” (“Payment in Kind”) where they are permitted to pay federal income tax with their own artwork. The program began in 1957 and has grown to include over 7,000 paintings, sculptures and graphic art in a public collection from well-known artists across Mexico. It’s said that the muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros proposed the idea to the secretariat of finance in order to keep his fellow artist friend out of jail for tax evasion. He asked that his friend be allowed to pay his taxes with art instead. Today, about 700 registered Mexican artists pay their income taxes with literal works of art every year as part of the “Pago en Especie” program.

Artists in Mexico can pay their taxes in paintings and sculptures
Artist David Alfaro Siqueiros and Hugo B. Margáin, the head of the Secretariat of Finance, with Diego Rivera’s “Lucila y los Judas,” the first donation received by Pago en Especie in 1957. (Cultural Promotion and National Heritage Office)
Artists in Mexico can pay their taxes in paintings and sculptures
A nearly finished painting in the studio of María Sada, a Mexico City artist who has donated to Pago en Especie for many years.
Artists in Mexico can pay their taxes in paintings and sculptures
Diego Rivera used his “Containing the Ice of the Danube in Bratislava,” left, in the Mexico City’s Ministry of Finance museum, to pay his taxes.

Links: TheAtlantic – USAtoday.com

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