14 September 2018

Cultural funds claimed are a ‘drop in the ocean’

Scott-Moncrieff has identified £6.7m of claims, but Scotland’s creative sector could benefit from so much more

Scott-Moncrieff has helped creative clients claim £6.7m of cash from HMRC via Creative Industries Tax Reliefs, freeing up funds for investment into music, theatre and other cultural pursuits in Scotland.  However, experts at the firm say many other creative organisations in Scotland have not been claiming, and now that museums and galleries can also apply via the Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief, experts at the firm fear that the unclaimed funds will continue to mount. 

Kirsty Murray, Tax Director at Scott-Moncrieff, commented: “The creative sector has benefitted, but what they have claimed so far is a drop in the ocean.  Therefore, the biggest challenge with this new tax relief is likely to be the take-up.  As charities, so many museums and galleries do not pay corporation tax and consequently think that this relief does not apply to them. But it does – and they could be receiving substantial sums, all of which could enrich Scotland’s cultural sector.”

Clients of the firm, which is now the leading tax adviser to Scotland’s creative sector, include many of the leading creative bodies in Scotland, such as Scottish Opera, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, RSNO and Traverse Theatre, alongside several regional trusts, production companies and venues that are involved with the production of live dramatic or musical performances. 

The Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief, which launched in January for this financial year, accepts claims of up to £100,000 for touring exhibitions and £80,000 for non-touring exhibitions.  HMRC designed this relief to support museums and galleries in the development of new exhibitions and collections, and to encourage exhibitions for the benefit of the general public.

Kirsty continued: “With the opening this week of the world-class V&A Museum in Dundee, the spotlight is well and truly on Scotland’s galleries and museums sector – which celebrates the artistic or historical.  But these organisations also need to think about the business end of what they do.  The sector stands to benefit to the tune of millions of pounds – which can equally be a lifeline, or an opportunity to do more to benefit the public in the long term.”

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