HMRC clarifies guidance on museums and galleries exhibition tax relief

HMRC has updated its guidance on creative industry tax reliefs from Corporation Tax, to provide further clarity on the operation of Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief (MGETR).

MGETR is available to companies that put on a qualifying exhibition, which is defined as “a curated public display of an organised collection of objects or works which are considered to be of scientific, historic, artistic or cultural interest”. Certain exhibitions are excluded from receiving tax relief. These include 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 for sale, or
  • where anything displayed is alive

Charitable companies that are able to apply must maintain a museum or gallery, be wholly owned by a charity, or be a local authority that maintains a museum or gallery.

There is also a higher rate of payable credit of 25 per cent for touring exhibitions. A touring exhibition must meet these additional requirements:

  • the exhibition must be held at more than one venue
  • at least 25 per cent of the objects or works displayed at the first venue must be displayed at every subsequent venue
  • no more than 6 months should elapse between de-installation at one venue and installation at the next venue, and
  • there must be a primary production company for the exhibition, which is within the charge to corporation tax, or
  • the primary production company must intend from the planning stage that the exhibition will be touring