In the 2016 Budget the (then) chancellor announced a number of cultural initiatives. Among them was floated a new tax relief for museums and galleries from April 2017. The aim is to encourage the creation of more and higher quality exhibitions, and also to support the touring of the best exhibitions across the country and abroad to raise the UK’s international profile.

The consultation that will shape the final policy was announced on 5 September. It sets out the framework for the new relief, based on other creative sector tax reliefs, as well asking key questions on how the proposed policy should work in practice.

The stated aim of the consultation is to design a simple, effective and valued relief to the sector. Presently, the key features of the relief are that it will:

  • be available to museums and galleries that are liable to pay corporation tax;
  • be able to be claimed against the creative and set-up costs of temporary or touring exhibitions but not for day-to-day running costs; and
  • form an additional deduction for corporation tax purposes, which can be surrendered for a payable tax credit.

Among the policy areas requiring input, the Government is seeking responses on:

  • What, for the purposes of the relief, constitutes a museum or gallery (and what ought to be excluded)?
  • What should be considered an exhibition?
  • How long is “temporary”?
  • What constitutes touring?
  • What should the qualifying core expenditure be?

The consultation sets out a suggested timeline for the proposal, as well as applying the draft scheme to worked examples. It is open for responses until 28 October and can be accessed here.