Tax relief now applies to exhibition costs - Museums Association

Tax relief now applies to exhibition costs

Tax relief is available on the cost of exhibitions, but claims can't be submitted until the Finance Bill receives royal assent later this year
Nicola Sullivan
Museums and galleries across the UK can benefit from a tax relief on the cost of new permanent, temporary or touring exhibitions under the Finance Bill 2017.

The tax relief, which became effective at the beginning of April, will apply at rates of 20% for non-touring exhibitions and 25% for touring exhibitions, and is capped at £500,000. 

Relief is available on a maximum of 80% of qualifying expenditure, meaning museums and galleries will be able to claim up to £80,000 relief for non-touring exhibitions and £100,000 if the exhibition is toured.

The measure, announced in last year’s budget, is intended to encourage museums and galleries to develop creative new exhibitions to display their collections to a wider audience.

Initially, the relief only covered temporary and touring exhibitions but it was broadened to include permanent exhibitions following a consultation with the sector. The legislation includes a sunset clause, which means the the relief expires in April 2022. The government will review this in 2020. 

Although the legislation applies to exhibition costs incurred on and after 1 April and before 31 March 2022, claims cannot be submitted until the Finance Bill 2017 receives royal assent later this year.

The Museums Association’s (MA) policy officer, Alistair Brown, said: “At the MA, we were concerned that the original proposal for tax relief on temporary exhibitions would only benefit the type of exhibition that the national and larger regional museums can put on.

“As we have seen in recent months, the museums in greatest need of extra public support are those with much smaller budgets.

“We’re really pleased that the government have decided to make the tax relief – which is worth up to £100,000 per touring exhibition – available to all types of museum, and we’re encouraging museums to consider how they can make the most of it.”

Arts Council England has put together a series of FAQs on exhibitions tax relief outlining the criteria museums need to meet in order to qualify.

Leave a comment

You must be signed in to post a comment.