UK VAT exemptions - Education and vocational training (VAT Notice 701/30) - Private Tuition

Mar 28, 2020
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United Kingdom

So ... 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.



Werner Reisacher

VIP Member
Jun 30, 2017
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The general principles of VAT and a minimum required VAT tax rate is harmonized and binding for all EU countries. Specific details and rates are under the jurisdiction of each individual country. I would need to know in which country you are doing business to answer your question.

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