North Yorkshire music service assisted purchase scheme for musical instruments

The assisted purchase scheme enables parents to purchase a musical instrument VAT free for lessons as part of the pupil's state education, provided they meet the criteria set by HM Revenue and Customs. 

Who is eligible for the scheme?

To qualify for the assisted purchase scheme, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The instrument must be sold to the local authority music service or school, and then supplied to the pupil. VAT cannot be reclaimed if you have purchased the instrument directly from a retailer yourself. Cases, mutes, bows and other related items can be included within the scheme as long as they are purchased with the instrument. However, under the HMRC Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS), as individual items they are deemed to be outside the scope of the scheme.
  2. The pupils must be receiving state education. State education, for the purposes of the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme, is defined as:
    • weekly music lessons in a North Yorkshire local authority or academy school
    • weekly participation in a school orchestra or local authority orchestra - music centre
  3. The instrument must be used as part of their music tuition each week. 
  4. The instrument purchased is appropriate to the pupil's musical level.
  5. The instrument to be purchased cannot be second hand. 

For the North Yorkshire music service to purchase the instrument VAT-free for a pupil: 

  • the instrument must be portable so it can be used for tuition in a North Yorkshire education venue
  • the pupil must be receiving weekly lessons through a music service instrumental teacher or attending one of the six North Yorkshire music centres weekly

We recommend contacting your child's instrumental teacher to ask for some advice regarding suitable makes and models. You can get prices from local or national suppliers of your choice. Make sure to ask them for an ex-VAT price. 

To confirm if you are eligible and to get an application form, please contact us.

How to apply

Before an order can be placed, the music service needs:

  • a completed application form and assisted purchase scheme eligibility confirmation 
  • payment in full for the instrument - this can be online or by card payment over the phone
  • payment of the £15 handling fee we charge in addition to the cost of the instrument - for instruments costing £100 or less, the handling charge may mean the assisted purchase scheme is not worth pursuing

Please contact us to request an application form.

Children not having music lessons through North Yorkshire music service or music centres

If a child is not having music lessons through North Yorkshire music service or attending one of our music centres, their school may be able to offer this facility if the criteria are met. Please contact the school directly to discuss.

Where will the instrument be sent?

Delivery will be to the pupil's school or another educational establishment.

Instrument rental options

Local music shops and some national musical instrument suppliers offer rental options which may be of interest for new students.