VAT and conferences
The University hosts a number of conferences and similar events each year. The VAT guidance for conferences and similar events depends who is hosting the event:
- conferences and similar events run by the University of Sheffield
- conferences run by, or on behalf of, other parties
Conferences and similar events run by the University of Sheffield
Supplies of ‘education’ by the University are exempt from VAT. This covers a wide variety of formats of providing education, including short courses, seminars, workshops and conferences, provided the objective of the event is to educate the delegates.
If the University is organising an educational conference then the income from delegates will be exempt from VAT (Tax Code M0). The VAT on expenditure for the conference will be non-recoverable. If the conference will generate other income, eg sponsorship, then please contact the Tax section for specific advice.
Conferences run by, or on behalf of, other parties
The University can be the provider of facilities used for non-University conferences. VAT may or may not be chargeable depending upon the nature of the event and the VAT status of the customer/conference host.
Generally, where the University provides facilities to another charity for them to use for educational purposes, any charge for those facilities will be exempt - a declaration should be obtained from the customer confirming that the event is educational and that they are a charity. A standard declaration form can be obtained from the tax team.
The VAT rules for conferences run by, or on behalf of, other parties are complicated. Please contact the Tax section for specific advice.
Need help or more information?
Who to contact
If you are in any doubt about whether your conference or event is subject to VAT then contact the Tax section for advice and guidance.