How museums and galleries could reclaim up to £80k

Museum and gallery exhibitions tax relief (MGETR) is intended to encourage museums and galleries to develop creative new exhibitions and to display their collections to a wider audience, supporting British culture.

Who can make a tax relief claim?

To qualify for MGETR you must be:
  • a charitable company which maintains a museum or gallery;
  • wholly owned by a charity which maintains a museum or gallery; or
  • a company wholly owned by a local authority which maintains a museum or gallery.
The tax benefit

Where an exhibiting company is profitable, the MGETR claim reduces its tax liability by up to an additional 15.2% of the qualifying costs.

Where a company is loss-making, or doesn’t pay corporation tax (for example, due to prior year losses, or if a charity), a tax credit at a rate of up to 16% (20% for touring exhibitions) of the qualifying costs is repayable to the company. The value of the tax credit is capped at £80,000 per exhibition (£100,000 for touring exhibitions).

What exhibitions are eligible for tax relief?

Exhibitions that are planned and curated for public display can qualify for MGETR, regardless of whether an admission fee is charged or not. However, the exhibition must be intended to be open to the general public.

The display can be a collection or a single object or work, whether indoors or outdoors, which is considered to be of scientific, historic, artistic or cultural interest.

At least 25% of the ‘core expenditure’ on the exhibition must be spent on goods or services that are provided from within the European Economic Area (EEA).

However, the display will not qualify if it is:
  • organised for a competition;
  • promoting or selling displayed goods;
  • displaying live objects, for example, plants or animals;
  • a live performance by any person (although an exhibition can still qualify if the performance is merely incidental to the collection displayed).
What costs can be included in your claim?

Eligible costs include core expenditure related to:
  • producing the exhibition (including curator fees, exhibition-specific transport and insurance);
  • deinstalling and closing the exhibition (but only where the period between opening and closing is 12 months or less);
  • some storage costs for exhibitions held at more than one venue (limited to expenditure for a period of 4 months or less).
Expenditure may not qualify on:
  • marketing and promotion;
  • security once an exhibition has opened;
  • direct acquisition costs;
  • deinstallation costs for exhibitions open for over 12 months.
How can we help

Our specialist team can assist you to structure your entity to ensure that it qualifies for relief, consider which of your exhibitions qualify, identify the costs that are eligible for relief and manage the application process on your behalf.

If you require any advice on the matters noted above, please contact Philip Clark.

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