Do I have to pay tax on the award or grant I have been given?

There continues to be no up-to-date and definitive answer or ruling to the question of whether prizes and awards will be deemed taxable by the HMRC.

It appears that guidelines written in 1979 have never been updated and/or replaced. An article about these guidelines was published in 1995 by Art Monthly, and is available on Artquest: Taxation on Prizes and Grants.

In summary, The Arts Council England/HMRC guidelines, though not legally binding, appear to amount to this: grants to artists are not normally taxable when given for the purposes of ‘buying time’ to carry out work; but are normally taxable when given for project costs, materials, and so on.

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This article is from the Artlaw Archive of Henry Lydiate's columns published in Art Monthly since 1976, and may contain out of date material. The article is for information only, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Readers should consult a solicitor for legal advice on specific matters. Artists can get free online legal information from Artquest.