Assisted instrument purchase scheme

The Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme enables pupils at Local Education Authority Schools, who receive instrumental tuition as part of their curriculum, to purchase instruments without paying the VAT content. This procedure has the approval of HMRC and was reviewed in September 1994 by the VAT Office.

How the scheme works 

Speak to your child’s music teacher first. They’ll give their expert advice on whether the time is right to buy an instrument for your child – don’t forget, its human nature to change your mind and as a child this may happen a lot faster, so be careful not to jump into an expensive purchase.

You’ll also need to decide how much you can afford. Do research online and ring around shops to check prices. We’re on hand if you need any help on 0300 300 6604.

If you decide to go ahead, you need to complete the order form below or download and fill the assisted instrument purchase form and post it to us.

Name of student *
Name of student
Please tick the relevant box below:
Your name *
Your name
Terms and conditions *
I agree to comply to the conditions of the scheme as set out in the InspiringMusicAIPS leaflet and declare that the information given above is correct. In understand he information on this form will be stored on both manual and computer databases. It will not be passed on to any third party.

The instrument will be ordered by Inspiring Music after full payment is received.

When you collect the instrument, you will be asked to check it and sign for it.

Buying more than one instrument 

You can use the scheme more than once to buy further instruments as your child progresses e.g. buying a larger instrument or a better quality instrument.

Or, you can use the scheme to buy more than one instrument at the same time e.g. if your child is learning two instruments.

Upgrading instruments

You can use the scheme when your child is ready to upgrade. Please note that whilst its possible for a retailer to offer you an instrument on approval at this stage, this is a private arrangement between the supplier and you. We do not accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising from such an arrangement. VAT cannot be reclaimed on instruments purchased directly from retailers

Is there an added cost?

The scheme is operated on a non-profit basis but there is a small charge (5% of the instrument price with a £5 minimum / £50 maximum) to cover Inspiring Music administration costs.

What are the rules?

These are the conditions to meet HMRC regulations:

  • the student must be in full-time education at a Local Authority school, and

  • be receiving ongoing musical tuition from Inspiring Music, or

  • they must attend an Inspiring Music Centre regularly and use the instrument there on a weekly basis

  • the instrument must be appropriate for the individual student’s needs – a beginner cannot get a professional instrument

  • the instrument must be portable and use for a lesson in school at least once a week

  • parents / carers undertake to repay the VAT to Central Bedfordshire Council if the conditions above are not met

To summarise, you will qualify for this scheme if your child:

  • receives music lessons in school from Inspiring Music

  • attends regular sessions at an Inspiring Music Centre

You won’t quality if your child:

  • attends a Youth Music ensemble that takes place during the school holidays – the HMRC scheme clearly states that the instrument must be used in the activity on a weekly basis

  • attends school in a neighbouring county - you will need to check access through your child’s school if you live in Central Bedfordshire but your child goes to school elsewhere

  • attends a private school – HMRC does not extend VAT exemption to private schools

If your child attends a school ensemble but doesn’t get lessons with us or attend a music centre, you will need to contact the school directly about this scheme.