Orchestra Tax Relief – a boost for musicians work prospects

Posted by:John Costalas on Mar - 30 - 2015 - Filed under: Creatives,Performance -

The government is consulting on the introduction of a new tax relief for orchestra production companies: it is proposed that this will be similar to Theatre Tax Relief.

Companies must be engaged in the production of live orchestral performances and the relief will be in respect of the creative and production costs incurred in their production. A higher rate of tax credit will apply to touring performances. It will be possible for orchestras to group together multiple qualifying performances in one tax relief claim

Qualifying companies can claim either:

• An additional tax deduction (the enhancement) of 100% of expenditure (the lesser of UK qualifying expenditure or 80% of total qualifying expenditure), or
• where after claiming enhanced deduction of expenditure the company makes a loss it may surrender the lower of that loss or the qualifying enhanced expenditure and be repaid a tax credit claim amounting to 25% of the loss for a touring production, or 20% of the loss for non-touring production

The maximum relief available per company is £50 million, and the maximum aid intensity should not exceed 100% of eligible costs.

To qualify, the majority of performances for which relief is being claimed must be played by a musical ensemble consisting of 14 or more performers and must include players drawn from each of the following four sections: string instruments, woodwind instruments, brass instruments and percussion instruments.

Where a company claims orchestra tax relief, it will not be able to claim relief under another tax credit scheme such as film tax relief, theatre tax relief or the research and development tax credit.

The company must be within the charge to UK tax and directly involved in the development of an orchestra’s performance, as in responsible for creating and developing the content of the performance and actively involved in the decision making process to deliver it.
Qualifying expenditure can be incurred in any country, although at least 25% of the core expenditure must be incurred in the European Economic Area.

All this may sound high level but these reliefs encourage more work for the individual musicians who comprise the orchestra.

Consultation on the proposed relief closes on 5 March 2015

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