Finance and Business Training: the UK VAT education exemption and fiscal neutrality

07 March 2016

The principal issue facing the Court of Appeal in Finance and Business Training v HMRC was whether EU law meant that a provider of university courses was entitled to the VAT education exemption in the same way as a university, even if not so entitled under UK VAT law. The court noted that Parliament had taken a cautious view of who should be a non-public body entitled to the exemption, especially when compared with Poland’s (non compliant) law before the MDDP case. However, FBT had failed to establish that UK law was not compliant with EU law. For the exemption, the supplier must have similar objects. This is an integration and primary purpose test.