HMRC Attending More Art Fairs…

HMRC Attending More Art Fairs….
Written by Rena Neville, Head of FCS Compliance – Art Division

The British art market is the second largest in the world.  It comes after the US and before China.  Given the size and population of the US and China, the UK punches well above its weight.  One key feature of this thriving market is the many, diverse art, photograph, print and other fairs held across the country throughout the year.

The fairs offer many benefits to dealers and collectors alike, not least easy access to a wide number of dealers and objects over several days in one location.  However, not only are fairs popular with collectors and dealers but increasingly so with His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the art market’s supervisor for anti-money laundering.  And HMRC enjoy the same benefits at fairs as collectors and sellers, that is to say, easy access to a wide variety of dealers over several days in one location!

In 2023, HMRC attended multiple fairs in London, identifying – in advance of their visit – which attendees were correctly registered as art market participants (AMPs) and those who should have been but were not.  This is a trend that is not going to change any time soon and one that is likely to continue throughout 2024.

To avoid coming under the scrutiny of HMRC we encourage all fair attendees, or indeed any art market participant (AMP) who should be registered, but are curently not, to do so. (The FCS Compliance team can help you navigate this process, so please do get in touch if you need support.)

And for those whose registration has lapsed, a reminder that they too are vulnerable to an HMRC inspection and the imposition of a fine that is likely to follow.

As a reminder –  if you registered more than 12 months ago, and have not yet renewed, it is possible that your registration has lapsed.  It’s worth checking – so please renew or re-apply.  And yes, there is an annual fee for each registration.

Notices from HMRC often are caught in spam, so check both your Government Gateway account and your spam for any alerts HMRC may have sent you about your registration status.

For more support on this topic, please get in touch.

Article written January 2024.

Related links:

HMRC registration link:

The latest art market fines: 


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