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VAT Notice 701/30 - Section 6. Private Tuition

Can a VAT-registered writer provide (related) tuition services in schools as VAT-exempt under 701/30

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This query is about a VAT registered writer. As a side activity (between 30-40% of profit), they also visit schools to provide workshops in literacy and so currently charge VAT there.

My question is, can they offer the service to schools as VAT exempt under the exclusion for Private Tuition (Education and vocational training (VAT Notice 701/30) – Section 6.1)? Obviously, this would make their offering more attractive to schools.

6.1 The treatment of private tuition: “If the teacher is a sole proprietor (or member of a partnership) and the subject is one taught regularly in a number of schools or universities then it’s an exempt supply of private tuition

And on top of that can they also exempt the travel – which they charge as an un-itemised “Travel Fee”? 6.2 says this is permissible if it is “integral” - and travel and accommodation seems to fit the definition of integral from the HMRC internal manual on “VAT Supply and Consideration

An incidental element of a supply is one which naturally accompanies the main supply and generally is not a significant part of it. Examples of incidental elements are the instruction booklet provided with new electronic equipment, packaging materials or the services of packing and transport.

An incidental element is also regarded as an integral part of the overall single supply in that it is required to fulfil the end supply. The definition of an integral element is that it includes anything which is essential, necessary or incidental, but goes further to incorporate non-essential elements which are nevertheless integral to the nature and economic reality of the supply.

I'd be grateful for any viewpoints or experience on the use of this exemption.


Replies (5)

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By lionofludesch
31st Mar 2020 14:40

Yes - provided he meets the rules.

Nothing to stop any VAT registered business making exempt supplies.

Thanks (1)
By paul.benny
31st Mar 2020 17:01

You seem to have more or less answered your own question.

Don't forget that the Exempt supplies mean that you have to restrict input tax recovery

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Replying to paul.benny:
By lionofludesch
31st Mar 2020 17:14

Maybe - but he's more than likely within de minimis limits.

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By Bolivar
31st Mar 2020 19:06

Thanks. I agree that it sounds straightforward. But I vaguely remember being warned that it might be problematic (I can't remember by whom), and I'm trying to think why.
I assume that the HMRC would see this exemption as being for the benefit of (freelancing) teachers. Perhaps they see as being disadvantaged by the VAT merry-go-round, with very input VAT to recovery?
This writer is not a teacher (not qualified as one, not registered as their profession or business on their tax return, not the main source of income, does not promote themselves as one - only as a visiting writer). I wondered if you thought the HMRC might say they the fail the first fundamental of the definition - that of being a teacher in the first place.

Thanks (0)
By [email protected]
07th Apr 2020 09:21

An accountant may teach evening classes without being a qualified teacher, and a professional teacher may run a market stall on Saturdays and Sundays. HMRC always say that they look at substance rather than form.

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