Supplies of education

Produced by Tolley

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

  • Supplies of education
  • Overview of the main VAT treatment
  • Education providers
  • What does the term ‘business’ mean?
  • Education providers that are ‘in business’
  • Education providers that are not ‘in business’
  • What is an eligible body?
  • Changes with effect from 1 August 2019 ― English higher education providers
  • Sports coaching
  • University subsidiary training companies
  • More...

Supplies of education

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marked the end of the Brexit transition / implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time, key transitional arrangements came to an end and significant changes began to take effect across the UK’s VAT and customs regime. This document contains guidance on subjects potentially impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see the Brexit — overview guidance note.

This guidance note provides an overview of the VAT treatment of education services.

Overview of the main VAT treatment

The following table provides an overview of the main VAT treatment of different supplies of education:

Type of supplyVAT treatment
Education provided free of charge by a local authority maintained school, technology college, sixth form college or academies, etcThe education services are outside the scope of UK VAT as they are not provided for business purposes. Any closely related supplies of other goods / services are also outside the scope of VAT. See the Supplies of goods and services closely related to education guidance note.
The supply of school, higher or further education in exchange for a feeThe supply by an eligible body will be exempt from VAT. The organisation can also exempt from VAT any Supplies of goods and services closely related to education.
If the organisation supplying the education services is not an eligible body, the supply will be liable to VAT at the standard rate
Supply of private tuition (in a school or university subject) by a sole proprietor or partner (but not their employee)The tuition will be exempt from VAT
Supply of tuition by a companyThe supply will be liable to VAT at the standard rate
Teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) by a commercial organisationThe supply of the EFL teaching will be exempt from VAT. The provision of other training will be liable to VAT
Supply of vocational trainingIf the training is ultimately funded

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