Commentary

V4.143 Exemption for education—item 2 (private tuition)

Part V4 Exemption, zero-rating and reduced rates

V4.143 Exemption for education—item 2 (private tuition)

V4.143 Exemption for education—item 2 (private tuition)

This paragraph covers the scope of the exemption for private tuition in VATA 1994, Sch 9, Group 6, item 2.

For an overview of the education exemption more broadly, see V4.141. For exemption in general, see V4.101.

Private tuition—legislation

VATA 1994, Sch 9, item 2 provides exemption for supplies of private tuition, in a subject ordinarily taught in a school or university, by an individual teacher acting independently of an employer.

The UK legislation was derived from Archived Directive 2006/112/EC, art 132(1)(j). This exempted 'tuition given privately by teachers and covering school or university education'.

Status of supplier of private tuition

Education or vocational training supplied by a partner in a partnership qualifies as private tuition under this item, as long as the partner does not engage another person to provide the tuition. In this regard, see Clarke1, HMRC Notice 701/30/192 and VATEDU40200.

In a number of cases it has been held that the exemption did not apply because the tutor amounted to an employee. Relevant decisions include Brian Graham (t/a Excel Tutoring Services)3, Upledger Institute4, and Charles5.

It is also worth considering the ECJ's judgment in Haderer where the Court held that 'the activities of an individual acting in a freelance capacity, consisting of providing assistance with schoolwork and also running ceramics and pottery courses in adult education centres, can be exempted…only where such activities consist of tuition given by a teacher on his own account and at his own risk, and covering school or university

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