Further Update On Museums And Galleries Tax Relief

Following the Chancellor’s announcement in the Autumn Statement that the government had listened to the campaign initiated by AIM and supported widely by museums and sector organisations, and was extending the Museums and Galleries tax relief to permanent exhibitions, the government has now published more information about how the new tax relief will operate, including some more changes:

  • The relief will also be open to libraries, archives, historic houses and other organisations, such as sculpture parks, as long as the exhibitions are put on by qualifying institutions.
  • Exhibitions not held in eligible museums or galleries can qualify providing they are put on by eligible institutions.
  • Exhibitions must be open to the general public
  • A fee can be charged
  • Institutions can raise other sponsorship towards costs.
  • The relief will be on the main costs of creating and producing an exhibition
  • Sales of related merchandise will be allowed providing the exhibition’s main purpose is not specifically to advertise particular goods and services for sale.
  • In addition to the institution that originates an exhibition each museum or gallery hosting it will also be able to claim for qualifying costs.
  • Off-site storage costs for up to four months between touring venues will be eligible for relief.
  • Indirect expenditure such as marketing and educational programmes as well as direct acquisition costs will be ineligible, as will daily running costs, such as security.
  • De-installation costs will not be eligible for exhibitions open for longer than a year.
  • Live performances will be excluded.
  • As most institutions already keep detailed financial records of individual exhibitions the need for additional accounting should be limited.

The new relief, which starts on 1 April 2017 and will provide up to £80,000 of relief for exhibitions at a single venue and £100,000 for those that tour. Some museums expressed concern that they would not be able to claim relief if they do not pay corporation tax, but although the relief is part of the corporation tax system, the Government has confirmed that museums and galleries do not need to pay corporation tax to claim it. They do need to be within the scope of corporation tax, however, which includes charitable companies, wholly owned subsidiary companies of museums and galleries, and CIOs (Charitable Incorporated Organisations). It is completely separate from VAT.

AIM will continue to update our members in the coming months on Museums and Galleries Tax Relief via the AIM Bulletin, website and social media.

Further reading: Museums and galleries tax relief consultation


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