VAT on swimming lessons

Forum Categories VAT ADMINISTRATION ISSUES VAT on swimming lessons

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    My client, currently runs a swimming school as a sole trader providing swimming lessons to both children and adults. Some lessons are delivered personally, with the balance from lessons supplied by two swimming teachers who are employed by my client on an hourly basis. His total turnover is approaching the VAT threshold and I am wondering if he need to register for VAT.

    In addition i need to find out if swimming lessons are VAT exempt services given that swimming is part of the National Curriculum. But i also understand that my client is not an eligible body yet the majority of my clients’ competitors who run swimming schools and are not eligible bodies are not VAT registered.

    My client also sells swimming merchandise – does this also qualify for exemption if applicable.

    Your help will be greatly appreciated.



    For educational services to be EXEMPT these conditions must be met:

    – the tutor/teacher must be acting independently, or an eligible body
    – the subject my ordinarily taught in schools and it forms part of the National Curriculum recent cases has shown that even belly dancing, yoga etc qualify for exemption.

    Hence swimming lessons taught by your client – i assume he is trading as a sole trader (not a company). However services by his employees are SR because clients contract with XX swimming school instead of the teachers direct and do not meet condition above.

    Also note merchandise is SR even if its closely related to the services being provided.

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