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HMRC internal manual

VAT Trade Unions and Professional Bodies

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Trade unions and professional bodies: Item 1(c) branch of knowledge / professional expertise: Past or present professions or employment of members

A further criterion for exemption under “Item 1(c)” is that the branch of knowledge being advanced or the expertise being fostered must be “connected with the past or present professions or employments of its members”. Therefore, an association with the “primary purpose” of advancing a branch of knowledge amongst the public generally would not qualify for exemption if its membership lacked this “employment connection”. This was made apparent in the “Organic Farmers case”, where the tribunal stated that the body would only:

”… fall into this class of association” (“Item 1(c)” of “Group 9”) “if”

“(a) its primary purpose is the advancement of a particular branch of knowledge and

(b) that branch of knowledge is connected with the past or present employments of its members.”

We would not withhold exemption if a small proportion of the membership lacked the “employment connection”.