VAT News

SAE Education Ltd – Supreme Court overturns Court of Appeal decision


The Supreme Court has overturned the Court of Appeal and Upper Tribunal decisions in the SAE Education Ltd (‘SAE’) case, ruling that SAE was entitled to claim exemption from VAT as a college of Middlesex University. This judgement provides clarity to commercial higher education providers who must collaborate with universities due to their lack of degree-awarding powers. It effectively prevents HMRC from discriminating against profit-making providers.

The previous Court of Appeal decision considered certain ‘tests’ to determine whether a body was, or was not, a college of a University. These tests have been disregarded in the Supreme Court judgement, and each case must instead be considered on its own particular facts and circumstances. Please therefore contact if you feel that you may be impacted by this latest judgement and would like to discuss your VAT position.


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