If you are investing on an art investment platform like Masterworks, where you own a fraction of or a percentage of an artwork:
- Sale of artwork: If the artwork is sold, you receive the equivalent of a dividend. Your profits are then taxed as income.
- Secondary market: If you trade your shares on the secondary market, your profits are taxed as capital gains.
For those of you selling artwork you purchased, art investments are classified as ‘collectibles’. Gains on art held for one year or less are taxed as ordinary income—the same tax treatment as short-term capital gains (STCGs). Gains on art held more than one year are taxed as long-term capital gains, except the maximum tax rate for capital gains on collectibles is higher than other assets at 28%.