Written evidence submitted by the Incorporated Society of Musicians


          This is a submission produced by Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) responding to the Treasury Committee Tax after coronavirus’ inquiry. This submission responds directly to the question in the Terms of Reference on the role of tax reliefs in rebuilding the economy and promoting economic growth and efficiency.


          The ISM is the UK’s oldest professional representative body for musicians, set up in 1882 to promote the art of music and to protect the interests of all those working in the music sector. The ISM’s membership comprises over 10,000 members and over 150 organisations working in every part of the profession. We support our members with legal services and advice, insurances, professional development and guidance in their work as a musician.



What is the role of tax reliefs in rebuilding the economy and promoting economic growth and efficiency? Does the current regime of tax reliefs perform this role well?


1. Background


a) Economic and cultural value of the UK’s creative industries






b) Impact of coronavirus





c) Financial support package for the arts




2. Creative sector tax reliefs


          Other fiscal measures should be explored as part of a wider support package to alleviate the financial pressures facing the creative sector. In the UK, Creative Industries Tax Reliefs are a growing suite of special company tax reliefs that are similar in form to Research & Development tax relief. They cover:


“We are absolutely delighted that the Government have listened to the sector - notably the lobbying of the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) - and pressed ahead with this important tax relief which will be worth millions to the orchestral sector.

“We are particularly delighted that the Government listened so carefully during its consultation period, reducing the minimum ensemble size eligible for tax relief from 14 to 12 musicians, and only requiring a minimum of one orchestral instrument to be included rather than four, allowing larger string groups, and wind and brass bands to be covered.” [Note: Initially, these had been excluded.]

“We hope in due course the relief will be expanded to include choral groups, smaller acoustic ensembles and the production of new music”.[10]





(a) Live Music Tax Relief





(b) New Works and New Tours Tax Relief. 




September 2020


[1] https://www.cbi.org.uk/articles/centre-stage-keeping-the-uk-s-creative-industries-in-the-spotlight/

[2] https://www.ukmusic.org/research/music-by-numbers/

[3] https://softpower30.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/The-Soft-Power-30-Report-2019-1.pdf

[4] https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/download-file/Value%20of%20Arts%20and%20Culture%20in%20Place-Shaping.pdf

[5] https://www.ism.org/news/ism-comments-ons-business-survey

[6] https://www.creativeindustriesfederation.com/news/press-release-cultural-catastrophe-over-400000-creative-jobs-could-be-lost-projected-economic

[7] https://www.ism.org/images/files/Impact-of-coronavirus-music-sector-ISM-briefing.pdf

[8] https://www.ism.org/images/files/Creative-industry-joint-letter-to-the-Chancellor-19.08.2020.pdf

[9] https://www.ism.org/professional-development/webinars/orchestra-tax-relief

[10] https://www.ism.org/news/orchestra-tax-relief-comes-into-effect

[11] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/826824/August_2019_Commentary_Creative_Industries_Statistics.pdf

[12] https://www.accountancydaily.co/mps-want-creative-tax-relief-extended-urban-and-grime-music