Museums & galleries exhibition tax relief

A museum or gallery exhibition may qualify for museums & galleries exhibition tax relief in thesed circumstances

Exhibition tax relief

A museum or gallery exhibition qualifies for Museums & Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief (MGETR) if it meets all of the following conditions:

  1. The exhibition is a curated public display;
  2. The exhibition is open to the general public;
  3. At least 25% of the core expenditure must be incurred on goods or services from within the European Economic Area (EAA).

Eligible costs are those spent on producing, de-installing and closing the temporary exhibition. Any income received relating to the temporary exhibition would need to be identified separately. Furthermore, the cost of storage of exhibits are eligible in certain circumstances:

  • For touring exhibitions and exhibitions held at two or more venues, the expenditure incurred in respect of periods of four months or less;
  • Expenditure incurred between de-installation at one venue and the opening at the next venue.

Cost of storage of exhibits is not eligible where the exhibition is held at a single venue, or where the exhibits are stored at a venue at which the exhibition has been or is to be held.

Expenditure on the following items is not eligible for MGETR
  • Development of initial concepts and feasibility;
  • Indirect activities (finance, marketing and legal services);
  • Running the exhibition during the period which it is open to the public;
  • Purchasing exhibits:
  • Infrastructure (unless solely for the purposes of the exhibition);
  • De-installing or closing the exhibition (if the period between opening and closing the exhibition exceeds 12 months).
In addition, certain exhibitions are excluded:
  • Those organised in connection with a competition;
  • Where the sale of displayed objects or works is the purpose, or one of the main purposes;
  • Which include a live performance by any person, except where this is incidental or an incidental part;
  • Where anything displayed is alive.
tax facts museums and art galleries
Calculation of relief

Above all, the company entitled to MGETR can claim an additional deduction in computing its taxable profits relating to a separate exhibition trade (the temporary exhibition will be a separate trade).

The additional deduction can:

  • Reduce the taxable profits of the separate exhibition trade (so that the company pays less tax); or
  • Create or increase a tax loss, which the company can surrender in return for a payable Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Credit (MGETC).

The amount of the additional deduction is the lower of:

  • 80% of total core expenditure; and
  • The actual EEA core expenditure incurred.

Please note that this Tax facts page is for general information purposes only. You should seek professional advice before you take any action, or refrain from, as a result of information contained herein. Content last updated: 29/6/18.

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