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HMRC internal manual

VAT Education Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Group 6 Item 4 Closely related supplies: goods and services that are not ‘closely related’ to supplies of education

The following are examples of goods and services that are taxable in principle unless relief is available elsewhere. It is important to note that this is subject to the overriding principle that supplies of catering by an eligible body to its pupils, students or trainees are closely related: 

  • supplies to staff (including tutors on summer schools) and to other non-students;
  • sales of goods from school shops, campus shops and student bars;
  • sales from vending machines - but see paragraph VATEDU52000;
  • sales of goods not needed for regular use in class;
  • separately charged laundry and other personal services;
  • sales of school uniforms and sports clothing;
  • admission charges (other than for taking part in sports activities) for example, admission to plays, concerts, dances, sporting venues, exhibitions, museums and zoos;
  • administration and management services;
  • commission for allowing sales by outside organisations at an educational establishment; and
  • sales by a sole proprietor or partnership in connection with private tuition.

Except for closely related supplies between eligible bodies, there is no general exemption for goods and services supplied to providers of education, research and vocational training for use in their educational activities.