Courses remain free of VAT

21st March 1997 at 00:00
Ian Nash implies ("Concern over VAT threat", TES, March 7) that Customs and Excise is requiring course-providers such as the Snowdonia National Park Study Centre to account for VAT on course fees. This is not the case. Courses remain VAT-exempt when the provider is either a local authority or similar statutory body, which includes the National Parks in Wales.

These organisations, however, do incur VAT in providing courses, but they have a special entitlement to recover VAT in respect of their non-business statutory functions. This does not extend to their business activities which are treated for tax purposes in the same way as commercial providers.

Business, for VAT purposes, includes any activity that is mainly concerned with supplying goods or services for any form of regular payment and on a substantial scale.

This is the case even if the activity is not carried on for profit or is undertaken by an organisation with charitable status. The educational activities of the Snowdonia Centre clearly meet this definition.

There is a competitive marketplace for the provision of courses from a wide variety of providers with alternative modes of delivery. It is therefore important to maintain the exempt business ruling for organisations such as the Snowdonia Centre to ensure a reasonably level playing field in this area.


HM Customs Excise VAT Social Division New King's Beam House 22 Upper Grounds, London SE1

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now