It has come to our attention that Revenue have now implemented and are checking for VAT compliance under the amendments introduced in the Finance Act 2015. The Act means that people offering education and workshops outside of specific constraints are now required to charge VAT and, within the VAT definitions, provide VAT returns to Revenue. The Act was introduced in 2015 and already some visual artists are being requested for further detail on their tax returns regarding arts training that they may have given to raise some extra income. Some have been requested for VAT payments backdated to the introduction of the Act. The guidelines are somewhat easy to follow. They appear to rely on the provision being either directly addressing specific curriculum guidelines or a specific vocational need. What is more difficult is the area of classes provided for leisure or to hobbyists.
We are providing the full Guidelines Document here (pdf format) but we strongly recommend that you contact either your accountant or tax advisor if you have been providing these services and to get advice on whether or not you must now be registered for VAT and if you have any liabilities for work completed in previous tax years.
“The Finance Act 2015 amended the VAT exemption that applies to education and vocational training. The amendment ensures Irish VAT legislation reflects judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The amendment provides that VAT exemption applies to providers of children’s or young people’s education and school or university education where it is provided by a recognised body. Private tuition covering school or university education is similarly exempt from VAT.
Vocational training and retraining services continue to be exempt from VAT where the conditions set out at paragraph 4.1 of this manual are met. Where a provider of vocational training or retraining meets each of these conditions the training is exempt from VAT1. Where education or vocational training is provided for no charge (e.g. non-fee paying school), the supply is outside the scope of VAT.
Where education or vocational training is provided for a charge, the supply will either be subject to VAT or exempt. While the majority of providers of education and vocational training continue to be exempt, a small number of providers no longer fall within the scope of the exemption.”