VAT-free instrument purchase

Purchase a new instrument VAT-free and save money

FOR: Eligible applicants (see below)

The Government currently allows the purchase of new musical instruments VAT-free under the six conditions listed below. If you meet these, please complete and return the form below by emailing it to us at: .

To download the form, please click here: VAT-free Instrument Parent Purchase Form

If you are unsure about any of these conditions, please contact us on 0345 0345 1371, where we can offer guidance and support.

Eligibility, terms and conditions:
1. Where you are learning?
a. You currently receive instrumental tuition in a local authority maintained school (this tuition can be from Cambridgeshire Music or a visiting tutor organised by the school) or
b. you are studying for a national curriculum music qualification (e.g. GCSE/A level) and are a member of school ensembles but are learning your instrument outside of school or
c. you are a member of a local authority-organised music group meeting regularly outside of school (e.g. county orchestras, area ensembles).
If you are attending school at an Academy not maintained by the local authority then your Academy may offer a similar scheme and you should approach your school music/finance department. If you are attending an independent school you cannot use this scheme.

2. The instrument needs to be new.
You cannot use this scheme to purchase second hand or ex-hire instruments. You can choose the supplier yourself, but we recommend that you are wary of websites that may or may not quote ex-VAT prices, and also of cheap instruments that may be of poor quality. We recommend that you consult with your music tutor and bear in mind the importance of good local servicing of your instrument from year to year.

3. The instrument needs to be 'portable' e.g. it can be transported/carried by the student themselves from their place of learning to home if required
This usually rules out the purchase under this scheme of most large instruments such as pianos, drum kits, timpani, full size double basses and harps. It is worth checking with us for larger instruments available through our county instrument bank on a loan basis.

4. The instrument is 'appropriate' for the child’s needs
It should be an appropriate instrument for the level of study and size of instrument should be correct. Your music tutor will be able to advise on a appropriate instruments.

5. The instrument is collected from us at our main office in Huntingdon.
The instrument cannot be supplied direct to your home address or for collection from the supplier as it has to be purchase by the local authority first and then 'sold' to you.

6. Payment is made at the point of ordering and the instrument will not be released until payment has cleared into our account.
This service is offered as a non-profit making service and clients will appreciate that we as a public body we have to ensure that financial transactions are completed before we can make delivery. In addition to the ex-VAT price of the instrument you will need to pay for the processing of your order and payment and any delivery required (see below).

What to do next?
If you think you are eligible to make use of this scheme please follow the following steps:

1. Identify the instrument you wish to purchase and obtain the model information.

2. Identify your preferred supplier, their contact address and details and check that they are able to obtain the item within the timescale you are seeking.

3. Obtain the ex-VAT price from them that they are offering.

4. Complete the form attached and return it, using the instructions on the form, with a cheque or postal order for the full amount required including any delivery/invoicing costs.

We will then order your instrument and contact you when it is ready for collection or being dispatched to your school. If there is a problem with your request we may contact you for further information/clarification.