Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS)

The AIPS scheme provides pupils of the EA Music Service with the opportunity to purchase a musical instrument without having to pay VAT, provided they are being taught to play that instrument in school or at a Music Centre or are involved as a regular member of a Music Service orchestra, band or ensemble.
*Other Terms and conditions apply.

What’s it all about?

Changes in the 1994 VAT (Education) Order now enable pupils enrolled with the Education Authority Music Service to purchase musical instruments free of VAT. The procedure for this scheme has been approved by HM Revenue and Customs and was reviewed in September 1995 by the VAT Office.

  • All instruments offered are new and from the Education Authority’s official suppliers.
  • The goods and services must be an integral part of the education provided or in connection with an Education Authority Music Service run educational activity, such as a band or  orchestra
  • Advice is required on choice of instrument from your child’s tutor, who must sign the form approving the suitability of the instrument or, in their absence, the relevant manager.
  • The scheme is non-profit making and offered by Education Authority as a service.

To comply with HM Revenue and Customs rules the following criteria must be satisfied:

  • Students must be registered members of the Education Authority Music Service
  • The instrument must be appropriate to the student’s needs and ability.
  • The instrument must be portable.
  • Ownership of the instrument must transfer from the Education Authority Music Service to parents of EAMS students.
  • The price of the goods and services supplied must be at or below cost. “Cost” means the full overhead-inclusive price of supplying the goods and services to the pupil and includes, for example, the cost associated in administering the AIPS scheme
  • An administrative charge of £10 will apply to each transaction.

Following the transfer of the instrument, all guarantee rights pass to the parent and any subsequent enquiries should be directed to the supplier.

Official Suppliers

Supplier Woodwind Brass   Strings  Harp   Piano/ Keyboard Percussion Audio  

Frederick Hyde Ltd (Chamberlain Music) 

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Haydock Music Yes  Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Howarth of London LTD Yes            
Normans (Burton upon Trent) Ltd     Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Clive Morley Harps       Yes      
Learning Space(Belfast) NI           Yes  

Application procedure

  • Submit web form below
  • Discuss the make/model with the Instrumental Tutor
  • Refer to our official suppliers' websites for information on instrument type and specification
  • Complete the online order form received from Music Service
  • Make payment; card/cheque or postal order only (including £10 administrative charge)
  • Collect instrument from local Music Centre following delivery confirmation

Contact us about purchasing an instrument through AIPS

I have browsed the approved supplier's website
I have contacted my child's tutor to discuss a suitable instrument
Would you like a call back from your child’s tutor?
Would you like to receive an AIPS application form?

Your details

Where does you child receive their lessons?

In 2021/22 we were involved with

Students

24,407

Ensembles

63

Schools

696

Tutors

297