Thomas Giordano-Lascari was recently quoted in an ARTnews article examining developments related to the estate of billionaire art collector and dealer Daniel Wildenstein. More than 20 years after Wildenstein's death, his estate reached a $17M settlement with the IRS for owed taxes on assets including hundreds of works of art. While much of the art was in storage out of the U.S. when Wildenstein died, the IRS argued that the pieces had resided for many years in the U.S. and were therefore subject to U.S. estate taxes.
According to Thomas, "what the IRS was trying to argue is that the situs of a non-U.S. person’s assets has a sort of subjective domicile.” Under French tax code, works held in storage would technically be considered to be in transit, and their residence subject to debate. The U.S. Tax Court ultimately determined that more than 250 works of art worth nearly $31M counted as residing in the US., leading to the settlement for estate taxes and fees.