Mendoza Review of museums including details on tax reliefs

The Mendoza Review, an independent review of museums in England has been published and includes statistics of the value of different tax reliefs and grants to the museums sector

  • VAT refunds: the VAT 33A scheme allows included museums and galleries providing free admission to collection to reclaim VAT – worth £75m in 2016/17 (to the nearest £5m). In 2006/07 six museums were eligible, rising to 33 in 2016/17
  • Acceptance in Lieu and Cultural Gifts Scheme (AiL and CGS): AiL enables cultural
    objects to be offered as payment of Inheritance Tax, and CGS enables cultural
    objects to be offered in return for a tax deduction; these objects are then
    accessioned to suitable museum collections – worth £13m in 2016/17
  • Business Rates Relief: no reliable specific information exists on museums’ business rates, due to the factors that go into the rateable value of each venue and differing levels of discretionary relief across local authorities, but a broad estimate has been made of approximately £23m annually. The report highlights the potential benefits for museums following the York Museums Trust case. See Colin Hunter’s commentary on the case here for more information.
  • Gift Aid: this data on museums charities, specifically, is not held

This Review was undertaken in response to the Culture White Paper in 2016, which called for “a wide-ranging review of national, local and regional museums, working closely with Arts Council England (ACE) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)”. It looks at what the national infrastructure for museums is and what it could and should be; the museums sponsored directly by government; and the challenges and opportunities for all of England’s museums. It makes recommendations across the following areas:

  • Adapting to today’s funding environment
  • Growing and diversifying audiences
  • Dynamic collection curation and management
  • Contributing to placemaking and local priorities
  • Delivering cultural education
  • Working in museums: Developing leaders with appropriate skills & Diversifying the workforce
  • Digital capacity and innovation
  • Working international