The VAT-free Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS) run by many LEA-maintained schools and music centres allows students to buy new musical instruments minus VAT. This is because these organisations are allowed to reclaim VAT on many of their purchases. If your school or music centre takes part in the VAT-free scheme, you may request them to buy an instrument on your behalf. You then pay the school the ex-VAT price, normally with the addition of a small administrative charge.

How it can work:

  • In consultation with your music teacher, you choose the instrument you wish to buy and the supplier/music shop you wish to buy from. You are not obliged to use a particular supplier, but of course we hope you will choose Rosehill Instruments.
  • You complete an AIPS application form. Your music service may supply you with one, otherwise the previous link opens a form which you can print off yourself.
  • You send the completed form and payment for the full ex-VAT price of the instrument to your school or music centre. Once payment has cleared, the school will place an order with your chosen supplier.
  • When your instrument arrives the school will inform you and make an appointment to hand it over to you.
  • The instrument is now yours, and any subsequent warranty enquiries and servicing can be dealt with directly by the supplier/music shop.


  • The student must attend an LEA-maintained school and receive regular (weekly) tuition on the instrument through services provided by the LEA.
  • The instrument must be portable (drum kits and pianos are not permitted) and appropriate to the needs and ability of the student.
  • The school must place the order for the instrument, take delivery, and receive the invoice (in order to recover the VAT); the student cannot order the instrument directly from the supplier.
  • The hand-over of the instrument must take place on school premises in a room normally used for teaching.

Please note the above is only a guide based on our understanding of how the AIPS generally operates. Each music service (or LEA) will have its own method of implementing the scheme structured around its internal procedures, so please consult your music teacher who will know how the scheme works locally.

Local Links:

Buckinghamshire Learning Trust Music (BLTM)

Chiltern Music Academy (CMA)