Commentary

V4.141 Exemption for education—overview of the VAT legislation

Part V4 Exemption, zero-rating and reduced rates

V4.141 Exemption for education—overview of the VAT legislation

Education

V4.141 Exemption for education—overview of the VAT legislation

This paragraph provides an overview of the VAT legislation underpinning the exemption for supplies connected with education. This includes:

  1.  

    •     the basis for the education exemption under EU legislation

  2.  

    •     the basis for the education exemption in UK legislation

  3.  

    •     the meaning of an 'eligible body' in UK law in the context of the education exemption

The specific items of exempt education are considered in V4.142–V4.145A and other issues associated with the education exemption are examined at V4.145B.

The basis for the education exemption under EU legislation

The exemption extended to certain educational services in the UK is derived from Directive 2006/112/EC, art 132(1)(i), (j)1, which exempts:

'(i)     children's or young people's education, school or university education, vocational training or retraining, including the supply of services and of goods closely related thereto, provided by bodies governed by public law having such as their aim or by other organisations defined by the Member State concerned as having similar objects;

(j)     tuition given privately by teachers and covering school or university education.'

In The Open University2, the First-tier Tribunal held that the BBC, via its Open University Production Centre, was an organisation 'defined by the Member State concerned as having similar objects' in the period prior to a change in VAT legislation in 1994. This was on the basis that the BBC had been so regarded by HMRC subsequent to the change, and since there had been no material change in the BBC's constitution, it must,

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