VAT News



The long running case of Brockenhurst College has been successful in its appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’).  Brockenhurst received confirmation from the CJEU supporting the decisions given by the First and the Upper Tier Tribunals that supplies made through the College’s training restaurant and theatre, were exempt from VAT.

In their summary of the case proceedings, the CJEU confirmed that supplies made by the College’s restaurant and theatre to third parties “may be regarded as supplies ‘closely related’ to the principal supply of education and accordingly be exempt from value added tax (VAT)”.

The CJEU further clarified that exemption will apply where the services are essential to the students’ education and that their basic purpose is not to obtain additional income for that establishment, by carrying out transactions which are in direct competition with those of commercial enterprises liable for VAT.

The case has not been fully resolved but has been referred back to the UK courts, and it is understood that HMRC is currently considering the CJEU judgement.  However, it is an extremely positive step and hopefully it will provide a precedent for colleges and other educational establishments that offer similar services.

For more background to the case, please click the link to read our article from 2014

If you would like to discuss the impact of this further or require assistance collating and submitting a claim to HMRC please contact Louise Gray on

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