Department for Culture Media and Sport

acceptance in lieu

The Acceptance in Lieu (AiL) scheme allows people to offer items of cultural and historical importance to the State in full or part payment of their inheritance tax, capital transfer tax or estate duty.

The Scheme is currently the most important means of acquiring important works of art and cultural objects for public ownership. Once accepted, they are distributed to museums, galleries and public archival depositories throughout the UK.

The Scheme offers clear tax benefits to owners. Items are generally worth 17 percent more if offered in lieu of tax than if sold on the open market at the same price, because tax must be paid on the amount an object is sold for.

Arts Council England administers the Acceptance in Lieu scheme on behalf of DCMS.

The Department remains responsible for policy oversight of the Scheme, and in particular:

  • deals with all land cases, in partnership with the Arts Council and HM Revenue and Customs as ministerial approval is required for the acceptance of land and estates in lieu of inheritance tax
  • facilitates the National Heritage Act 1980 Part II , which sets out the legislative framework by which property is approved and accepted in lieu of tax, disposal arrangements and reporting
  • reviews and develops AiL policy.