Changes to VAT rules for academic visitors

Posted on 11/12/2013

On 1 August 2013, HMRC changed the rules on VAT treatment for academic visitors from VAT exempt to standard rate VAT in certain cases.

Prior to this date, it was not necessary to know the academic visitor's business whilst at Royal Holloway. It is now important, as the nature of the business will determine whether standard rated or exempt VAT should be charged.

If the academic visitor is working on research for any of the Research Councils, government bodies, NHS Trusts, charities or the EU Commission, the VAT treatment for bench fees and accommodation costs remains VAT exempt.

The exception to this is if the academic visitor is a Research Fellow. In this case, standard rated VAT should be charged on bench fees and accommodation costs regardless of the purpose of the visit.

If the academic visitor's business falls outside research activities for the bodies listed above, then standard rated VAT should be added to bench fees and accommodation costs.

For further information and guidance, please contact the Finance Department.

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