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VAT Free Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme

Something every parent should know...
You don't HAVE to pay VAT on your Child's Musical Instrument!
By not paying the VAT, you could be saving hundreds of £££££'s. Interested?

AIPS conditions

The operation of AIPS varies according to the LEA involved, but the following conditions will apply in most cases.

The AIPS process is easy

Further Information

Although the instrument is purchased by the School/Academy/Music Centre, Dawkes Music retains all the purchase and serial number details for warranty purposes. If you need further information about the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme please telephone us on 01628 630800 or contact your child's instrumental teacher at the School/Music Centre.

Many Education Authorities have their own AIPS form and can only use their own AIPS form - so please check with your relevant authority before using the form provided here. The AIPS form has been produced in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to print it.
It can also be downloaded from the Adobe web site by clicking here.

Vat: Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS)

I would like to turn first to the question of why the scheme applies only to LEA-maintained schools.
Local authorities are refunded any VAT they incur in delivering their non-business statutory activities, including the provision of education.
The object of this is to prevent VAT falling as a burden on local taxation.

Independent schools are not publicly funded bodies and, therefore, when such schools provide musical instruments to their pupils as part of a music course, they must either bear the VAT costs themselves, or pass it on to students in the price they charge for instruments.
Nonetheless music courses provided by independent schools are free from VAT.

With regard to AIPS, many local authorities have introduced voluntary schemes under which they are prepared to subsidise the cost of musical instruments - AIPS being the umbrella term for such schemes.
AIPS enables qualifying students to purchase musical instruments through their LEA music service or school (often at reduced prices and net of VAT) for use as part of the normal school curriculum.

The operation of AIPS varies according to the policies of the LEA involved, but the following basic conditions will apply in most cases.

Where local authority schools meet these criteria and are therefore able to obtain a VAT benefit, they may choose to reflect this benefit in the price they charge on to students for what are essentially items to be used in class. However, this is entirely up to the local authority concerned. When a student receives regular tuition from the LEA's music service there is usually no requirement for him or her to be a student of one of the local authority's schools. If their local authority operates such a policy, this may enable students of independent schools to take advantage of musical instrument purchase under AIPS.

To summarise. It has always been a feature of the VAT system that local authorities can recover the VAT they incur on their non-business activities, including the provision of education. This explains why schools that are not publicly funded cannot be part of AIPS. However, although open only to LEAs and LEA-maintained schools, AIPS itself is a purely voluntary scheme which different local authorities are free to operate in different ways.

Although the instrument is purchased by the School/Music Centre, Dawkes Music retains all the purchase and serial number details for warranty purposes.