Elsewhere online
June 03, 2016

Sen. Hatch Calls for Closer IRS Watch on Private Museums

Senator Orrin Hatch is asking the Internal Revenue Service to detail its stance on art collectors’ private museums and outline steps it could take to ensure they have “sufficient guidance” to operate within the bounds of tax law, arts newsletter Hyperallergic reports. The Utah Republican chairs the Senate Finance Committee, which requested information last fall from 11 private museums over concerns that such institutions conferred tax advantages on their founding donors while providing limited public benefit.

Outlining his findings in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, Mr. Hatch said many such museums do “good work” but noted that some keep very limited opening hours, remain closed for weeks or months at a time, and allow public visits only by appointment. “These factors alone are not cause for revoking tax-exempt status or imposing tax on self-dealing,” the senator wrote, “but they do raise questions about the nature of the relationship between the donor and museum that perhaps merit further scrutiny.”