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The education sector has not been left unscathed from the ever-changing landscape of tax and so it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that the right approach to tax planning is taken.

By way of example, education bodies often face the frustration of increased costs when VAT is charged on supplies without the ability to recover it. Although there are some concessions in place, the application of these concessions can often be narrowly construed.

This was recently highlighted in the recent case of West of Scotland Colleges Partnership, in which a number of education bodies took advantage of a costs-sharing exemption which allows such organisations to join together to supply services within the group at cost, and without having to charge VAT on those services. In this instance, the group failed the “exact reimbursement” condition as it failed to produce any records demonstrating how the interests and the benefits were accrued to each of the members in the cost-sharing group. 

For further information, please contact Julian Moran, head of Tax at Lupton Fawcett.

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