Tax Certification

Tax certification is a process defined in the Cultural Property Export and Import Act that encourages the transfer of cultural property from private hands to the public domain. This process ensures that cultural property of outstanding significance and national importance is preserved in Canadian organizations and made accessible to the public. The tax certification process is administered by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.

Tax Incentives

The following incentives in the Income Tax Act encourage Canadian taxpayers to donate or sell significant cultural property to designated organizations:

  • exemption from capital gains tax on the certified cultural property; and
  • non-refundable tax credits for the full fair market value of the certified cultural property.

Tax Certification Process

Applications for certification are submitted to the Review Board by designated organizations on behalf of identified donors or sellers of cultural property.

The Review Board decides if:

  • the object is of outstanding significance, due to its close association with Canadian history, its close association with national life, its aesthetic qualities, its value in the study of the arts, or its value in the study of the sciences; and
  • the object is of such national importance that its loss to Canada would significantly diminish the national heritage.

Fair market value is determined by the Review Board for objects that meet the above criteria. A Cultural Property Income Tax Certificate (Form T871) is then issued to the donor or seller.