Value Added Tax

Education ― supplies of research

Produced by Tolley
  • 22 Dec 2021 18:43

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Education ― supplies of research
  • What is the VAT treatment of research?
  • VAT treatment
  • International supplies of research
  • Supplies to the European Commission
  • What input tax can be recovered?
  • Practical points

Education ― supplies of research

This guidance note provides an overview of the VAT treatment of supplies of research.

See De Voil Indirect Tax Service V4.145 and V6.218 for more in-depth commentary, and HMRC internal guidance VATEDU35000.

This guidance note should be read in conjunction with the Supplies of education guidance note, which provides details of what constitutes an eligible body.

What is the VAT treatment of research?

HMRC regards research as including the following from a VAT perspective:

  1. original investigative work undertaken in order to gain, expand or advance knowledge and understanding

  2. developing a particular software program intended to assist with a particular research project before the main body of the research commences

VATA 1994, Sch 9, Group 6

HMRC does not regard the following as research from a VAT perspective:

  1. work undertaken that merely confirms existing understanding or knowledge

  2. collecting and recording statistics if no analysis, collating or interpreting takes place

  3. market research

  4. writing computer programs where these are not directly associated with a specific research project

  5. conducting opinion polls

  6. undertaking routine testing and analysis of components, processes and materials

  7. consultancy services

  8. providing business efficiency advice

Research that has specific commercial application could still be regarded as research from a VAT perspective providing it meets the relevant criteria. HMRC Notice 701/30, para 5.6 provides the following example of when it would be regarded as research:

‘for example, much research funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and by Research Councils (for

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