Tax relief plans confirmed by government

Measures will apply from the beginning of 2017-18
Jonathan Knott
Plans to grant museums and galleries tax relief on permanent, temporary and touring exhibitions are to go ahead, the government has confirmed.

The measures will apply from the beginning of the 2017-18 tax year. They will allow museums and galleries to claim up to £80,000 for non-touring exhibitions and £100,000 if the exhibition is toured.

The proposals were included in the original version of the Finance Bill, published in March. But their future had been unclear after they were removed, along with other parts of the bill, so it could be pushed through before the general election in June.

In a written statement to the House of Commons last week, Mel Stride, the financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “The Finance Bill introduced in March 2017 provided for a number of changes to tax legislation that were withdrawn from the bill after the calling of the general election. The then-financial secretary to the Treasury confirmed at the point they were withdrawn that there was no policy change and that these provisions would be legislated for at the first opportunity in the new parliament.

“The government confirms that intention. It expects to introduce a Finance Bill as soon as possible after the summer recess containing the withdrawn provisions.”

Stride confirmed that the measures would apply from the beginning of the 2017-18 tax year, even though this is before the new bill will be introduced. This will be ensured through “technical adjustments and additions” to the original legislation.

Alistair Brown, the policy officer for the Museums Association, said: “We’re delighted that the government has listened to the sector and decided to proceed with legislation for the Museums and Galleries Tax Relief. The decision to backdate the relief to April 2017 means that no museum will lose out.

“We know that the tax relief is complex and that museums may need guidance in taking it up. Arts Council England (ACE) has already published an FAQ document on its website, and we’ll be working with ACE, HMRC and others to ensure that information and training is available to the sector.”

Links and downloads

Arts Council England FAQs

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