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For-profit education could be VAT-exempt

17 September 2012
Issue: 4371 / Categories: News , VAT
Consultation in response to expansion of higher education sector

Supplies of education made by a range of defined “eligible bodies”, the definition of which can be found under VATA 1994, Sch 9 Group 6 notes (1)(a) to (f), are exempt from VAT under UK law.

For the purposes of higher education, eligible body status is covered by note (1)(b) to (e) and applies in the main to universities, and non-profit-making and public bodies such as local authorities and government departments.

In light of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ wish to expand the higher education sector to increase student choice, HMRC have agreed to consult on whether for-profit providers of higher education should be placed on the same footing as eligible bodies.

The Revenue is proposing that, for the purposes of delineating a new exempt body, higher education will be defined, for VAT exemption purposes only, as a course that leads to a degree or counts towards or forms part of a degree course or postgraduate diploma:

  • higher degrees;
  • postgraduate diplomas;
  • postgraduate certificates of education;
  • first degrees;
  • foundation degree bridging courses;
  • higher national diploma and certificate; and
  • diploma in higher education.

Responses should be sent by email no later than 5 December.


Issue: 4371 / Categories: News , VAT
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