Chile/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.5 Tax laws

The main Chilean State funding for arts and culture is provided for under Law No. 18,985, part of the 1990 tax reform, and which established a Cultural Donations Law (Chilean National Congress, 1990). This provision was amended in 2001 under Law No. 19,721, expanding the number of beneficiaries and the characteristics of the funds provided (Chilean National Congress, 2001).

The Cultural Donations Law has the objective of stimulating private investment in cultural and artistic projects and activities by providing tax rebates of up to fifty percent of the donation by private parties. Specifically, for each project funded under this law, the State provides a tax credit of half the value of the donation, relinquishing its right to charge tax for the corresponding amount.

Among the bodies eligible to receive donations are State-recognized public or private universities or professional institutions; libraries; corporations or foundations that research, create and disseminate culture and art; community organizations; State, municipal or private museums and the National Monuments Council. On the other hand, donators that wish to receive tax exemptions must be first category tax contributors paying tax on their real income, maintaining full accounting and reporting a profit over the last financial year, and second category contributors paying tax on the basis of full accounting.

In 2013, a new amendment to the Cultural Donations Law, Law No. 20,675, was passed (Chilean National Congress, 2013b), further expanding the number of eligible beneficiaries, incorporating owners of heritage properties and the DIBAM (National Libraries, Archives and Museum Directorate). The amendments also incorporate companies operating under a loss, second category contributors (usually natural persons) and donors from other categories of contributors as eligible donors, allow the sale of funded projects, lengthen deadlines for seeking funding and executing projects, incorporate civil society and the Finance Ministry to the Cultural Donations Assessment Committee and establish regular monitoring and inspection of funded projects.

For more information on the Cultural Donations Law, visit

Chapter published: 28-12-2013