Orchestra Tax Relief

HMRC has published update guidance on claiming Orchestra Tax Relief for Corporation Tax. More detailed guidance for orchestral production companies, including examples of how the relief is calculated, can be found in the Orchestra Tax Relief Manual.

The updated guidance from HMRC is reproduced below.

Who can claim

Your company can claim Orchestra Tax Relief if it’s a qualifying orchestral production company putting on a qualifying orchestral concert.

A qualifying orchestral concert is one which:

  • is performed by an orchestra, ensemble, group or band consisting wholly or mainly of instrumentalists who are the primary focus of the concert
  • consists of a minimum of 12 instrumentalists
  • all or the majority of the instruments are not electronically amplified
  • is intended to be performed live for the paying public or for educational purposes
  • at least 25% of core expenditure is on goods or services provided from within the European Economic Area (EEA).

Core expenditure is what’s spent on producing the concert. It does not include expenditure on the actual performance.

Your company must also be:

  • responsible for putting on the concert from start to finish, including employing or engaging the performers
  • actively engaged in planning and decision-making
  • directly negotiate, contract and pay for rights, goods and services.

Who cannot claim

A concert will not qualify for relief if the:

  • main purpose, or one of the main purposes, is to advertise or promote any goods or services
  • performances consist of or include a competition or contest
  • main object, or one of the main objects, is to make a relevant recording.

What you can claim

You can claim an additional deduction to reduce your profits or to increase a loss. This will reduce the amount of any Corporation Tax you will need to pay. If you make a loss, some or all of this loss can be surrendered for a payable tax credit at a rate of 25%.

The additional deduction will be the lower of either:

  • 80% of total core expenditure
  • the amount of UK core expenditure.

How and when to claim

You can claim for relief on your Company Tax Return. You will need to calculate the amount of:

  • additional deduction due to your company
  • any payable credit due.

You should also provide:

  • the name and address of the venue for each performance
  • statements of the amount of core expenditure, split by EEA and non-EEA expenditure
  • a breakdown of expenditure by category.

You may elect to have multiple concerts treated as a single concert. If you’ve made an election, you should indicate the date of the election in your return.

Elections must be made before the date of the first concert in the series and sent by email to: creative.industries@hmrc.gov.uk.

You may make, amend or withdraw a claim to creative industry tax reliefs up to one year after the company’s filing date.

HMRC may agree to accept late claims in some circumstances.

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