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Featured Article: Orchestra Tax Relief

Thinking of setting up a chamber music series? Running a musical charity?

This relief enables you to reclaim some of the costs of orchestral or ensemble concerts. It's one of the 8 creative industry tax reliefs available for arts organisations. 

An overhead shot of a violin orchestra

To Qualify, your concert must: 

  • Feature a minimum of 12 instrumentalists within the performing group.

  • These instrumentalists must be the primary focus of the concert.

  • Have a majority of acoustic instruments, as opposed to amplified.

  • Be a live performance for a paying public or for educational purposes.

  • Incur at least 25% of core costs in the UK or European Economic Community. Note that from 1st April this will be updated to mandate 10% of core costs must relate to activities in the UK.

  • Be entirely managed by your company, from the decision-making in the planning stages to the negotiating and contracting of the performers; performance rights and services involved

What is a Core Cost?

 A core means the cost of producing the concert but excludes the concert itself.

  • So think about rehearsal fees, venue fees and all other directly-related costs in the run up to the performance.

  • You can claim an additional deduction which will reduce your profits or increase the loss you’ve made on your concert/concert series.

  • NB - There’s additional nuance when core costs are incurred in the EEA rather than the UK so do get in touch with us if this is the case for you.

How do you claim?

 The relief is given as two elements: 

  • an additional deduction of 80% of your core costs 

  • a payable tax credit

If you made a loss...

This loss can be surrendered for a payable credit from HMRC. This credit is the lower of:

  • your loss (which includes the additional deduction) or

  • the additional deduction itself.

  • At the moment the payable tax credit is 50% of the amount surrendered.

Have questions on this? Contact us today.


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