How you could save money buying your instrument

The Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS) enables pupils of local authority and academy schools to purchase musical instruments through their school net of VAT.

Many schools, music services and local councils offer the HMRC-approved VAT Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme. If you are the parent or guardian of a pupil at one of these schools, you may be able to buy them a musical instrument without paying any VAT – potentially saving you hundreds of pounds.

The order must be made through the school, so we recommend you contact your school directly to ask if they can support you with this.

For the purchase to qualify for the AIPS, the following criteria must be met:

  • The instrument or item must be sold to the local authority or school and then supplied onto the pupil or their guardian;
  • The pupil must be receiving state education;
  • The instrument must be used as part of their musical tuition;
  • The instrument must be appropriate to the pupil’s needs; and
  • The price charged to the pupil for the purchase of the instrument must be at or below cost (please see VATGPB7815 for a definition).

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