Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme

The Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme enables parents with children or students attending a local authority school or music service to purchase instruments – including replacement parts – on behalf of the children and students net of VAT. The current rate of VAT is 20% and so this offers a significant saving on the cost of purchasing an instrument directly from a retailer.

How does the scheme work?

The parent selects an instrument and supplier/retailer, and then:

  • Asks the school/music service to order the instrument through the supplier/retailer.

  • Pays the school/music service the ex-VAT price of the instrument plus any local administration charge.

The school/music service places the order with the retailer and reclaims the VAT (local authorities are refunded any VAT they incur in delivering non-business statutory activities).

Who is eligible?

The child or student must receive a “state education”, which for the purposes of this scheme includes:

  • Musical tuition at a local authority school or academy

  • Musical tuition in either a school orchestra or local authority orchestra

  • Musical tuition in a local music hub

This includes pupils and students attending:

  • London Borough of Ealing maintained schools and colleges, and/or

  • Receiving tuition from Ealing Music Service teachers, and/or

  • Attending Cadenza and other ensembles administered by Ealing Music Service

Next Steps

EMS recommends that parents discuss the instrument purchase with the child or student’s instrument tutor prior to purchase to ensure the purchase reflects the child or student’s needs.

Parents with children and students attending local authority schools ask the school if they operate the AIPS scheme and if so whether they would prefer the AIPS application to be progressed through the school or through EMS.

Parents with children attending Cadenza and other ensembles directly administered by EMS should apply to EMS directly.

To purchase an instrument through Ealing Music Service, please complete and return the EMS form Assisted Instrument Purchase Form (EMS408).

For further advice regarding AIPS, please contact Ealing Music Service.

For further information on AIPS visit https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/vat-government-and-public-bodies/vatgpb7825