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VAT Treatment of education and vocational training


19 April 2017

The Finance Act 2005 amended the VAT exemption that applied to education and vocational training. At the time the Revenue withdrew previous guidance notes on the topic. Revenue have now published updated guidance on the VAT treatment applicable to education and vocational training and retraining services.

The guidance notes explains the VAT treatment of :

  • Education services
  • Private Tuition
  • Vocational training and retraining
  • Conferences
  • Activities not regarded as exempt education or vocational training
  • Supplies of goods or services incidental to education
  • Place of supply of education and vocational training
  • Research activities

An important extract is in relation to courses which are primarily of a recreational nature for which the Revenue guidance note states :

"Courses or training programmes which are primarily undertaken for recreational purposes do not come within the scope of the exemption. A course which is primarily for recreational purposes is undertaken for the enjoyment and satisfaction of the participants rather than for developing skills and knowledge which will assist the participant in their trade or profession"

Read Guidance here


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