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Charge VAT on courses ?

A newly formed company is going to be running courses for groups and individuals on maritime security.  I think these would be regarded as 'vocational training' , but am not sure if the company would be an 'eligible body', I'm inclined to think not.

Question is whether the company is making exempt supplies or standard rate; if the latter it needs to register for VAT of course.

Anyone acting for any similar companies and can advise?

Thanks.

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What grey area? Why do you think they may/may not be eligible?

To be an eligible body it would need to be:

A registered school, academy, free school, university or college [largely bodies caught by the under Education Act 1996]

A local Authority, NHS Trust, Police Trust/Authority or similar public body

A non-profit making body which has a constitution preventing it distributing any profit and restriciting the use of any profits generated to the furtherance of its educational supplies (largely this means a charity)

or

Teaching English as a foreign language

It's obviously not the last one, and presumably not the first or second ones, so the question is is it a non-profit body? Does it have suitable clauses in its articles or constitution to prevent anyone taking any profits out of it? If not then it's not an eligible body.

The only other routes for exemption would therefore be if the funds for this training are secured under a government training scheme through the YPLA, DFS, LSC etc. Which I'm assuming is not the case since no mention is made of this.

There may also be scope for exemption if they're providing examination services to a school, college or other eligible body.

So since the only info we have on the course is that they're run by a company, and they're on maritime security, there's not really a lot to go on, but it seems likely that they're going to be standard rated (unless of course they're taking place outside territorial waters, or for foreign businesses in which case the place of supply rules might put them outside the UK and or EU)

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Agreed

Belated thanks for the reply, Spidersong, and for your useful indight as always. Yes, I agree and have advised the clients to charge VAT.

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What to do?

One of my client's customer's in a similar situation: they are providing vocational training, are not an eligible body, etc., but are treating their supply as exempt. 

I've advised my client that - I believe - the customer should be standard rating thier supply. Their customer would then be able to reclaim the VAT that my client has to charge - thus the proposed supply more competititve.

What steps does anyone advise we should do next?

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