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VAT Free Scheme


VAT FREE purchases are available under the 'Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme'. Students must be attending lessons or an ensemble at a place of education that is participating in the assisted instrument purchase scheme. Most state schools with musical activities and all County Music Services participate.

To comply with HM Customs and Excise rules of the following criteria must be satisfied:

The student must be in full time education at an LEA School.

The student must be receiving music tuition at the School/Music Centre.

The instrument must be appropriate for the student's needs.

The instrument must be portable.

The instrument must change hands on Educational premises.

Step 1: Contact the school or music service that the pupil attends and check that they are participating in the assisted purchase scheme and find out what, if any, administration charges they apply. Some (usually schools) have a flat administration charge of £10. On lower value goods, this can sometimes be greater than the saving of VAT so it’s worth checking! Some offices will issue you a form to fill in when you have chosen your instrument.

Step 2: Talk to Prozone Music about your instrument. Either give us a call, drop us an email or alternatively come along and choose your instrument with the help of our expert advice to make sure you are making the right purchase. Once you have chosen your instrument, it is put aside so you receive the exact instrument that you chose at the shop. Prozone Music will provide you with an official quotation containing all the details required to administrate the purchase. PLEASE NOTE: Prices on our web site are INCLUDING VAT, you can remove the VAT from the purchase price to find out what you will pay. VAT is 20% up from the Ex VAT figure so to remove the VAT divide the inclusive of VAT figure by 1.2

Step 3: Go back to the school or County Music Service and inform them that you have chosen your instrument and it is reserved at Prozone Music. If you were issued with an AIPS form, fill it in using the information on the Prozone Music quotation and return it to the School / Music School office. They will then issue a purchase order to us, at which point your instrument is released and usually sent to the school office or music service supply office for your collection.

Step 4: Tell your friends!!! - Obviously, the government don't publicise the Assisted Purchase Scheme very well as it costs them the VAT, so pass on the good news!!!


There are two issues which often arise concerning the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme:

Firstly, many LEA Schools have never been made aware of the AIPS Scheme - So you never know, you may be the first to ask. Please refer them to us if they would like to discuss how to operate the scheme.

Secondly, parents of children attending Independent Schools often ask if their children can be eligible for the scheme. As Independent schools do not charge VAT on school fee they cannot reclaim VAT. However, if the student does not attend state school but does play in a County music service ensemble or have lessons on a weekly basis, they can be eligible.

PLEASE NOTE: Second-hand instruments are not eligible for the AIPS scheme.