Hammond broadens tax relief for UK museums in Autumn Statement
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Hammond broadens tax relief for UK museums in Autumn Statement

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The UK government is to broaden the scope of its museums and galleries tax relief following the delivery of chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement.

Announced in the March 2016 Budget by then chancellor George Osborne, the tax relief will now be extended to permanent exhibitions so that it is accessible to a wider range of institutions across the country.

Taking effect from 1 April 2017, the tax refund scheme will allow organisations fitting the criteria to claim a rebate on “VAT incurred on most goods and services purchased in order to grant free rights of admission to collections” – something which previously only applied to either national or university museums and galleries.

According to Hammond’s Statement, the rates of relief will be set at 25 per cent for touring exhibitions and 20 per cent for non-touring exhibitions. There will be a cap of £500,000 in qualifying expenditure per exhibition.

In 2020, the government will review the tax relief, which will expire in April 2022 if not renewed thanks to a sunset clause.

The Association of Independent Museums and Museums Association have both called for the extension of the tax relief to permanent exhibitions, which they have said would give a boost to a number of small and medium-sized museums.

The chancellor's Statement also revealed planned investments in cultural institutions, including £7.6m for urgent repairs at the Grade I listed Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire subject to approval of a sustainable business case.

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The UK government is to broaden the scope of its museums and galleries tax relief following the delivery of chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement.
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