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Private Tutors who "employ" others...

Private Tutors who "employ" others...

I know that a sole proprietor providing tuition (for subjects normally taught in school) is an exempt supply.

What if the tutor (a) takes on another tutor (b) to help out?

We have the following:

All students pay the sole proprietor (a). The proprietor provides half of the teaching personally and then has self-employed people (b) who contract with the proprietor (a) to provide services. There is no doubt over the status of the others and as such no one is providing tuition as an employee.

The problem is however that the guidance states that the services must be provided personally in either a sole trade or partner capacity. Clearly all involved here are self employed however the service supplied by the original proprietor (a) is being delivered by someone else (b) and therefore not delivered personally.


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26th Mar 2009 09:42


The tutors all work on an ad hoc basis and have, in most cases, other full time jobs.

They provide their own equipment and props etc and have no real pattern at all to their work. The main reason they are self employed is so that they can claim all of their related expenses whereas employees could not claim as much.

Back on track however if you act for similar businesses do you have input on the original VAT issue?

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25th Mar 2009 16:10

Self-employed tutors?
Martin, I hope you don't mind going a little off subject but how are the tutors classed as self-employed? I deal with a handful of franchise tutoring schools. All employ tutors who are almost all working in schools full-time. All go through the payroll, there's very little e'ers NIC to worry about. However it would be beneficial, especially for one or two of the larger ones who are in danger of going over the VAT threshold if the tutors could be classed as s/e.

Many thanks


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23rd Mar 2009 09:40

Yes, VAT is the issue. The status of the workers is not under debate at all and their treatment is long established.

The real issue here is that the services are all being provided by a sole trader or member of a partnership BUT the monies are all paid to one person.

VAT guidance states that if the services are provided by someone "employed" then they are not exempt. However none of the workers here are employed (and again that is not the issue up for debate here!)...

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20th Mar 2009 11:42

Acting as agent
I assume that we are talking about VAT.

The sub-contractors are not being paid by the pupils and so, the supply of their services does not satisfy the conditions for exemption as private tuition. The proprietor is effectively acting as a booking agent and his charges to the pupils taught by others are taxable supplies. If his taxable supplies exceed the registration limit, he will need to register and charge VAT.

I am not sure that the sub-contractors are not really the employees of the proprietor or at least, should be subject to PAYE under the rules for agency workers.

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01st Nov 2010 16:35

The Supply is VATable

I just found this thread from some time ago and I suppose the OP has resolved this problem but the real point here is who is actually supplying the tuition. In your case the supply is coming from the sole proprietor who has engaged another tutor to deliver the tuition service on their behalf. In this case the whole supply is liable to VAT.



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