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5 Things That Will Transform the Art Market

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As part of my personal study of the art market, I like to see if I can predict trends and spot opportunities within this realm.

I identified 5 things that are poised to cause a complete shift in the art world as we know it. Continue reading to learn about what I suspect will completely transform the art market.

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Cryptocurrency – Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will continue to be a factor in the art market. Both the legal and black markets will thrive due to the fact that cryptocurrency makes it easier to exchange value without dealing with traditionally recognized currency. Blockchain can be repurposed to assist with provenance research and the public nature of its design will continue to transform how art is traded and sold.

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The Push for Diversity in Museum Leadership and Galleries – After the Brooklyn Museum faced tremendous backlash over hiring a White curator for its African Art department, a spotlight was shone on the lack of diversity within the museum world. Since then, there have been numerous discussions over how the art world will rise to the occasion and foster a more diverse environment. Even the New York Times has asked questions about the ethnic makeup of the world of art dealing. Obviously, there is a lot of potential here and the museums and galleries that take the lead in this regard will position themselves to stay current and relevant in these ever-changing times.

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Elimination of Section 1031 Provisions – With the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, Section 1031 of the tax code eliminated the loophole that allowed art investors to defer the realization of capital gains for an indefinite period of time. This has sent investors scrambling to devise a new tax strategy when it comes to the sale and later purchase of art. Fortunately, there are some preliminary measures that will offer an alternative to Section 1031, though it will take some creative accounting and subject matter mastery to execute properly. It’ll be exciting to see what other innovations come along that will benefit art investors.

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Virtual Art Galleries – In this increasingly digital world, it should be no surprise that the virtual art gallery will account for a healthy portion of art sales. Virtual galleries appeal to a previously unexplored group of patrons: this virtual space combines the collectors that want to enjoy art but are too busy to go browse a gallery in person with the art lovers that may have initially been intimidated by going to a gallery in person. The flexibility and ease of purchase will continue to appeal to many art enthusiasts, and I imagine that this form of art vending will continue to grow in popularity. A few of the most popular online art vendors can be found by clicking here.

Barack Obama  as painted by Kehinde Wiley; Michelle Obama as painted by Amy Sherald

Renewed Interest in Artists of Color – Artists of color are not unpopular but have largely been ignored or relegated to “supporting” roles in art museums and galleries. However, there has been a renewed interest in artists of color, especially since these artists have many influential fans and collectors. Barack and Michelle Obama both chose Black artist to create their official Presidential and First Lady portraits. High profile collectors are seeking to carve a space for these artists that will allow the artwork to shine in its own right. Pamela Joyner has graciously allowed her personal collection to be exhibited nationwide in the Solidary and Solitary exhibition. In a recent article on Artnet, Tina Knowles Lawson gives a tour of her art collection. Collectors aren’t the only ones bringing artists of color into the spotlight. Within the past 10 years, there have been more retrospectives featuring artists of color than ever before. A retrospective of Howardena Pindell’s work is slated to exhibit at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and it’s already gathering lots of buzz.

 

Those are my predictions for the changes that will transform the art market. Do you have any predictions that you think may affect the art world as we know it? Let me know in the comments below: I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

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Living Your Best Life: 5 Tax Tips for Divorced and Separated People

As a (sort of) recent divorcee, I have been navigating my finances and getting a sense of how to responsibly handle my money in this new phase of my life.

Once upon a time, I worked for IRS as an international tax auditor. I reviewed the tax returns of people living abroad as well as foreign-born individuals that lived and worked in the US. So, suffice it to say, I’m pretty comfortable with tax law.

That being said, I still wasn’t quite prepared for what life would look like as a person preparing her taxes for the first time post-divorce. It’s been about 6 years since I left IRS, so I wanted to make sure that I had the most current knowledge of the tax code, and I wanted to ensure that I was making good decisions now and in the future as I go forward.

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So here’s my little guide for getting a good handle on your tax situation as a separated or divorced person. Some of the tips are also good for anyone (I’ll put my “applies to anyone” advise in parentheses after each applicable tip). Keep this guide of 5 tips (I even threw in a bonus for everyone, so it’s technically 6 tips!) to help you approach your taxes in a clear, orderly, empowered fashion.

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  1. Relax about the process. Seriously, nothing good comes from worrying. So take a deep breath and know that YOU CAN DO THIS! Pace yourself and give yourself time to really absorb what you’re learning. Don’t worry about committing it all to memory: no one does that! Just get familiar enough with how to search the IRS.gov website and you will be fine – really, you will! (This applies to everyone. Taxes have a “logic” that begins to make sense to you when you take your time. Don’t worry about learning it all).
  2. Order return, account, and wage/income transcripts for the entire period of the marriage. These documents are free and can arrive to you within two weeks, or you may also request to view the transcripts online. The main transcripts you’ll need are 1) return transcripts, showing what was reported on the tax return for a given year; 2) account transcripts, showing the summary of account activity during a given year (especially helpful if you paid tax as opposed to getting a refund, or if the refund was “offset” [reduced to pay for a federal or state obligation, like delinquent child support, student loans, unpaid income taxes, etc.,); and 3) wage/income transcripts, that show all of the income received during a tax year, as well as mortgage interest paid, student loan interest paid, debt cancellations, etc.,. You want to review these documents to make sure that all of the information is correct before you file your taxes. These are good documents to include in your financial binder, too (This is a good practice for everyone. Order the documents, review them, and make sure that everything is accurate).
  3. Get Publication 504 and READ it! This publication is voluminous but it covers everything that divorced and separated people need to know when preparing their taxes. This is especially helpful for parents, as custody agreements and divorce decrees may have special rules for handling how the parents will file and claim credits and deductions related to children.
  4. Take advantage of free tax preparation software that is available through Credit Karma. I’ve used it for the past two years and I’m very pleased with how well it works. If you’re nervous about preparing and submitting your taxes, then play around with the Credit Karma software (but don’t submit the document: just print it out) then get a trusted tax professional to review it. Have that professional tell you if you missed anything, or have them explain how certain rules, credits and deductions work. (Credit Karma is free to everyone, so check out the software and see if it’s something that will work for you).
  5. Know that you can always amend a return. If you mess up, you can always correct it! The form for amending taxes is Form 1040X. Correcting the taxes can be time consuming, but if the change is significant enough, it’s worth it to initiate the correction on your end as opposed to having IRS open an audit. Audits, by the way, aren’t the super-scary event that most people paint it to be. However, it can take a long time to resolve (depending on the auditor) so it’s always best if you are proactive and amend an incorrect return. (Again, this applies to everyone).
  • Bonus tip: make sure your address is current! Sometimes IRS will send you correspondence to the last address of record, which may have changed since your last filing. Depending on how much your ex controlled the flow of information, you’d do well to update your address with IRS by filing Form 8822.

I’ve hyperlinked all of the referenced forms, websites and publications for your convenience.