Museums & Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief | Frequently Asked Questions

If you are responsible for the finance and operations of a museum or gallery, you might be thinking about submitting a Museums & Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief (MGETR) claim, or you have already submitted a claim and are looking for some additional information for your next claim. In this article, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions people have in relation to this valuable relief. Please contact for more information.

What is Museums & Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief?

Museums & Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief was introduced on 1 April 2017 and allows organisations who maintain a museum or gallery to claim back a proportion of costs spent on producing exhibitions.

Since the relief was introduced, we have claimed back almost £1,500,000 in cash repayments for our clients.

Who can claim Museums & Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief?

Your organisation must be a charity, the trading subsidiary of a charity or a company that is owned by a local authority. The relief is also available for SCIOs (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations) and charitable companies limited by guarantee.

Your organisation does not need to have paid corporation tax in order to claim the relief.

What costs qualify for Museums & Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief?

There are four phases to setting up an exhibition:

► Phase 1 – Speculative development – before the decision to proceed with the exhibition is made

► Phase 2 – Production and installation (incurring set-up costs)

► Phase 3 – Running phase – the exhibition is open to the public

► Phase 4 – Dismantle and close the exhibition (deinstallation costs are only eligible if the exhibition is open for 12 months or less)

Only costs incurred during Phase 2 and Phase 4 qualify for the relief. Indirect costs, such as marketing and legal costs do not qualify for the relief.

What are the rates that can be claimed?

For exhibitions where the production phase started before 27 October 2021, relief will apply at rates of 20% for non-touring exhibitions and at 25% for touring exhibitions which is equivalent to 16p or 20p per £1 of qualifying expenditure respectively.

From 27 October 2021 to 31 March 2025 the rates are increased to 45% for non-touring exhibitions and 50% for touring exhibitions. This is equivalent to 36p or 40p per £1 qualifying expenditure respectively. These rates apply to exhibitions where the production phase started on or after 27 October 2021.

From 1 April 2025, the rates will be 40% for non-touring exhibitions and 45% for touring exhibitions which is equivalent to 32p or 36p per £1 qualifying expenditure. The government has announced the intention that these rates will be “permanent”.

In all cases the maximum cash repayment per exhibition is capped at £80,000 for non-touring exhibitions and £100,000 for touring exhibitions.

How do I get the money back?

The claim forms part of your charity’s corporation tax return and can be submitted as soon as your charity’s accounts have been approved after the year-end. If your charity does not currently complete a corporation tax return, this can be done in order to make the claim. HMRC typically make repayments within 4 – 6 weeks after submission of the return.

From 1 April 2024, an Additional Information Form (AIF) must also be submitted before or on the same day as the corporation tax return is submitted. The AIF must contain basic details about your organisation and its exhibitions including the start dates of each production phase.

What type of exhibitions are eligible?

Exhibitions must be an “organised collection of objects or works considered to be of scientific, historic, cultural or artistic interest”. It can consist of a single work or object. Under the previous rules, at least 25% of the qualifying expenditure had to be spent in the European Economic Area (EEA) but changes have come in from 1 April 2024 and now 10% of qualifying expenditure needs to be UK expenditure, subject to transitional provisions and exceptions.

The exhibitions must be shown in a physical venue where visitors attend in person.

Can I claim for costs for an exhibit which is touring within my museum or gallery?

Yes, only for costs that you have incurred in set-up and de-installing, within certain timescales.

What type of touring exhibition would qualify?

In order to qualify as touring, the exhibition must be held at two or more geographically different venues. The time between dismantling at one venue and setting up at another venue should not exceed six months. In addition, at least 25% of the works displayed at the first venue must also be displayed at the following venues.

Can I claim running costs from the day of opening?

Running costs from the day of opening will not be eligible for relief. For example, invigilation costs when the exhibition open to the public do not qualify.

Can I claim for an exhibition which includes a live performance or live animals?

Exhibitions which include a live performance by a person, or an animal do not qualify. Performances by people incidental to the exhibition, such as costume wearing guides will not stop the exhibit from qualifying, but their costs do not qualify for relief.

My charity doesn’t pay corporation tax – can I still claim?

Yes, as long as your charity is within the charge to corporation tax. Even if your charity has never been asked to complete a return by HMRC you can still claim.

Does my exhibition have to be in a museum or gallery in order for it to qualify?

No, it could be in a library or outdoor site for example, as long as all the other conditions have been met.

We plan to sell the items on display as part of the exhibition, does this still qualify?

No, one of the conditions of the relief is that the items displayed are not for sale.

The exhibition has been organised in connection with a competition, will the exhibit still qualify?

No, exhibitions will not qualify if they have been organised in connection with a competition of any kind.

Can I claim for private view only exhibitions?

You can have limited private viewings, but the exhibition itself must be open to the general public. Private viewing costs will not qualify.

Can I claim for storage costs?

You can only claim for storage costs if there is more than one venue where the exhibition is displayed, the storage is off-site and will not be stored for more than 4 months.

How long do I have to submit a claim?

The MGETR claim must be submitted within two years from the end of the accounting period. For example, a claim for the year ended 31 March 2024 must be submitted by 31 March 2026. But the sooner the MGETR claim is submitted, the sooner the organisation will receive the cash repayment.

Do you have any other questions?

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Susan Pattison.

The information in this article is of a general nature and seeks to highlight some of the issues which could be affecting you and/or your business, including changes to financial regulation and legislation. Readers should not rely on this information without seeking professional advice on its application in their circumstances.