VAT Advice for Education Providers

Calculating VAT for education providers can be incredibly complicated, but the friendly and knowledgeable team at The VAT People are here to provide the advice you need to ensure you are paying the right amount.

As experts in our field, we have a great deal of expertise in dealing with schools, colleges and other education providers and a keen understanding of how VAT rules apply to the education sector. This means we are best placed to ensure that your organisation is paying the right amount of VAT across all income streams - and that you are taking full advantage of any exemptions or savings for which you are eligible.

For help and advice on any aspect of your VAT processes, contact The VAT People on 0333 3634 859, or fill out an online enquiry form and we will be in touch.

How we can help you

We offer tailored, specialist advice for schools and colleges to ensure your VAT processes are efficient and up to date. Our team of experts will make you aware of all your obligations, as well as making sure that you are aware of any benefits for which you may qualify.

Our services for education providers include:

  • A VAT health check service to ensure full compliance with VAT legislation, helping educators to properly maximise any opportunities
  • Implementation of VAT recovery systems to take full advantage of VAT recovery on expenditure

To find out more about the broad range of VAT-related services we provide to education providers and other organisations, you can explore the links below:


Are education providers exempt from VAT?

For an educational institution to be regarded as a business and therefore liable to pay VAT, it must require payment for its education services. Establishments that provide free or wholly government-funded education are not regarded as a business. This means that most universities and some colleges will qualify, while most primary and secondary schools will not, but if you're unsure, you should contact an expert consultant to advise you.

The services supplied by education providers typically fall into one of the following categories:

  • A non-business supply of education
  • A business supply of VAT-able education
  • A business supply of VAT-exempt education

Under these definitions, the following are classed as in “business”, albeit they usually generate income in return for the supply of education that is exempt from VAT:

  • Independent fee-paying schools, including non-maintained special schools
  • Universities
  • Institutions teaching English as a foreign language

Conversely, HMRC declares the following as non-business institutions:

Community schools
Foundation schools
Voluntary aided schools, including former special agreement schools
Voluntary controlled schools
Community special schools
Foundation special schools
Grant-maintained (integrated) schools in Northern Ireland
Self-governing schools in Scotland
City technology colleges
Free schools


Contact us

To discuss your circumstances and VAT requirements as a school, college, university or other education provider, contact The VAT People today by calling 0333 3634 859, or complete the contact form on this page to request a call back.

You can also learn more about the people who’ll be working with you to make the most of your VAT opportunities on our team page.

Useful Information

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