UHY Ross Brooke Chartered Accountants

Belly dancer fails to impress

Private tuition is exempt from VAT provided that it is both given by an individual teacher acting independently of an employer; and a subject ordinarily taught in school or university.

The first point is fairly clear and means that VAT exemption would not be available to a company or its employees. It is normally only available to someone acting in a self-employed capacity or as a member of a partnership.

The second point, however is less clear and has led to a number of interesting cases on what constitutes a subject ordinarily taught in school or universities.

Whilst subjects such as Maths and French would clearly fall within this definition, the lines are certainly not clear cut.

Any golfers amongst you will surely be pleased to hear that in the VAT tribunal case of Marcus Webb it was held that VAT exemption was available for golf tuition.

However, recently a Yoga teacher was disappointed to discover at her VAT tribunal that it was held that Yoga did not constitute a subject ordinarily taught in school or university and consequently VAT exemption would not apply.

Audrey Cheruvier trading as Fleur Estelle Dance School argued that her private tuition in belly dancing would justify VAT exemption. Dance tuition has previously been accepted as falling within the boundaries of VAT exemption although these courses do usually carry an element of written and academic coursework. It was reported that she put forward a detailed and reasoned argument but ultimately the tribunal decided that the courses were recreational rather than educational and therefore VAT exemption was not available.

Can we surmise that Golf, Yoga and Belly Dancing on the curriculum now? Does anyone else wonder what they teach the kids at school these days?

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