Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS)
If your child is in full time education, and learning to play an instrument in school the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS) may be able to help you afford their very own instrument.
How it Works
All products in the UK include Value Added Tax (VAT) at 20%, which we must charge and then pay to the Inland Revenue. However, business customers, including schools, reclaim the VAT back from the Inland Revenue. "Regular" customers don't get to do this.
For instance, a £400 keyboard in our shop has, included in the price, VAT worth £66.67. If you were to buy this keyboard you would pay £400 and we would pass the £66.67 to the Inland Revenue.
If a school were to buy this instrument the school gets to reclaim this VAT paid, and so gets the £66.67 refunded from the Inland Revenue bring the price of the instrument down to £333.33.
To help students in full time education in England and Wales the government will allow this saving to be passed on to the parents - essentially allowing the parent to buy a new instrument at the VAT exclusive price of £333.33.
Sounds Great - Can I Order an Instrument?
The key is that the instrument must be ordered from us by the school, and not by yourselves. The school then pays for the instrument, and you pay the school. When you have chosen the instrument you want the school must place an order with us.
This scheme is voluntary and it's possible that your school don't operate the scheme, so we recommend discussing this with your school office or music teachers first.
The Music Industry Association have produced this guide to help parents understand how the scheme works, and the official HM Inland Revenue page about the scheme can be found here. If you want to apply please contact us and we'll help get you hooked up.