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Mexico Allows Artists to Pay Taxes with Artwork

For some artists in Mexico who are unable to pay their taxes, they can apply for a program called Pago en Especie that allows them to pay their taxes with works of art. There are about 700 artists registered in this program and the Mexican government ensures that the art is high-quality. They're not allowed to sell it, but they currently have over 7,000 pieces in museums all over the world, including a Diego Rivera painting worth millions. 

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If you can't pay your taxes in Mexico, the country will let you pay with something else: works of art. There are about 700 registered artists in Mexico that are allowed to pay their taxes with art instead of money as part of the Pago en Especie program. The number of artworks you sell each year determines how many pieces you have to donate to the government. If you sell five paintings in a year you must give the government one. If you sell between six and eight you have to give two. There is a cap at six pieces of art total.

Not all art can qualify for this program. Only paintings, drawings, sculptures and graphic art are allowed, and the Mexican government must ensure that the art is high-quality. The country takes the program very seriously because it is a way for them to showcase Mexican art around the world. One painter who has participated in the program said "But aside from being convenient, it is also a source of pride, knowing that your art will become part of a historic collection that reflects Mexico's creative heritage."

This extensive collection now has over 7,000 pieces of artwork in museums all over the world, as well as Mexico City. Some of these works are now worth a lot of money including a Diego Rivera painting that's estimated to be worth millions. Mexico is not allowed to sell any of the paintings they receive as part of the tax program and they've even had to purchase warehouse space for the amount they've accumulated. However, many agree this is a better alternative because before the program launched, most artists simply did not pay their taxes at all.