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 Post subject: VAT on School Fees
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:18 am 
I've just read an article about this charity commission debate and at the end it mentioned that really what the government wants to do is charge VAT on School Fees. Surely this is completely immoral as the governmanet does not charge VAT on any other consumer and non-consumer products for children (shoes, clothes etc...) and yet they want to do it in this area. What I find most baffling is that government saves £6.5 billion per year with children in private school, so surely the more people who cannot afford it will mean not only will the saving be reduced but more money will need to be found for state education :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
Tipsy

The issue is not about VAT on school fees, it's about whether schools are truly charitable organisations and therefore VAT exempt, or are they commercial organisations and should they have to pay VAT on their purchases from suppliers.

Ken


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:10 am 
KenR wrote:
Tipsy

The issue is not about VAT on school fees, it's about whether schools are truly charitable organisations and therefore VAT exempt, or are they commercial organisations and should they have to pay VAT on their purchases from suppliers.

Ken


Remove charitable status - there is an argument forthis.... but to tax a child on any type of learning is immoral in my view. Taxing school fees affects the individuals, which is typical government - green taxes on the individual not the companies, high income tax below a certain income but low tax on companies and those with excessively large incomes. If VAT should be paid on school fees then it should also be charged on university tuition fees - but everyone would be up in arms about that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 625
Hi t.i.p.s.y

It is not correct to say that the government does not apply VAT on consumer or non-consumer products for children.

Firstly, although educational material in a printed format is exempt, the same material in electronic format i.e. on CD or as a download is not exempt.

Secondly, private tuition provided directly by the tutor is exempt, however if the tutor employs someone else to provide the tuition then that is not exempt.

Regards

Mike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:17 am 
Hi Mike,

I agree that I probably don't have my facts completely right about consumerable items but I still think its wrong to VAT school fees which affects the individual. I know some people are anti independent school which is fine, and I was until we like many were let down by the system. Taxing independent school parents will do more harm than good. Do independent schools do any harm? Some say they cause segregation, but there will always be segregation in our country when it comes to affluence. Independent schools do more good than harm, and I think they should just be left alone rather than being made a scapegoat by the government who are trying to claw back billions of wasted pounds brought about by their mismanagement over the last 10 years in power.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 625
Hi t.i.p.s.y

I think it is highly unlikely that any parent who currently has a child attending an independent school will agree to the government imposing VAT on the fees.

However, as KenR states, the issue is regarding whether Independent schools are exempt, through charitable status, from paying VAT on goods from their suppliers.

If the schools lose charitable status they will have to pay VAT on supplies. The only way they can recoup this is through charging VAT on their own services, i.e. school fees.

The schools use "charitable" status as a loophole to avoid paying VAT. As a "charity", they should be able to prove to the charities commisssion that they fulfil the requirements of a "charity". If they cannot do this then their charity status should, rightly, be removed.

Regards

Mike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 625
Hi t.i.p.s.y

The charity commission is currently starting a range of consultation periods; from 12th March 2008 for a 4 month period they are offering anyone with an intererest in "Public Benefit and Advancement of Education" the opportunity to send them their opinions.

www.charity-commission.gov.uk gives details on how you can correspond with the charities commission.

Regards

Mike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:04 pm 
Thanks Mike, and just type Tipsy as the morse-code version is a pain in the a** :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:01 pm 
If I understand the situation correctly, independent schools would quite like to get rid of charitable status, as they pay out infinitely more in bursaries etc than they recoup from their charitable status, and they are constantly at the mercy of the government demanding more and more of them. However, Dame Suzi Leather (I didn't make this name up, honest!) has said that schools cannot just ditch their charitable status and still hang on to their property and lands, etc - if they give up their charitable status then, guess what, all this would go to the state. By the way, Dame Suzi has a child in an independent school herself, but I think due to leave shortly. :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:12 pm 
Yes, Dame Suzi is another champagne socialist who got where she is by going to one of the poshest girls schools in the country... and her daughter is at a top boarding school - really very necessary! Joke of all joke, Ed Balls went to private school too. I personally don't like people who change their behaviour at the whims of public opinion. I bet if Ed and Suzi (with her cash peerage) were in any other job they would be pro private school and be sending all their kids there. Everyone maons that Cameron went to Eton, but forget to mention that most of Labours front bench were privately educated. They were all happy to take from the independent sector so that they could get where they are today, but now metaphorically stab it in the back to remain where they are :evil: - I am becoming more right-wing the older I get :oops:


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