Advocating for Vocalists in Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR)

The word 'Voice' being highlighted in a dictionary in focus.

UK music professionals are coming together to urge the government to add ‘voice’ to the Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR) list of eligible instruments. Major organisations in the sector including UK Music, Musicians Union, Association of British Choral Directors, Making Music and Music Mark are in support of the campaign – among many others.


What is the Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR)?

The OTR was introduced in April 2016 to provide support to orchestras and ensembles across the UK. This scheme offers tax relief on eligible expenditures related to concerts and performances. OTR alleviates financial burden and encourages investment in the arts. The Government, recognising the positive impact of the tax relief on the live music industry has permanently raised the rate to 45%.


Violinists with the rest of an orchestra performing in the background


Making the Voice an Eligible Instrument

The scheme has been a lifeline to many orchestral companies. More work has been produced as a result, introducing more audiences to the art of live performances. However, ‘voice’ is not considered an acoustic instrument under the scheme, so choirs have been unable to benefit.

Choirs across the country support their members socially and educationally, connecting individuals within a community, and providing improved mental well-being. Not to mention the charity fundraising over the years from both professional and amateur choirs. The OTR has been proven to improve community reach and growth for orchestras.

The campaign, lead by Making Music,  aims to give choirs this same advantage by having the government include ‘voice’ as an eligible instrument.

See the full campaign, including the signed proposal here.