Am I exempted from VAT as an entrepreneur in education?

Am I exempted from VAT as an entrepreneur in education?

15 January 2024 – reading time: 4 minutes
In general, providing education, ranging from primary education up to higher education, is exempt from VAT in the Netherlands. But this does not necessarily apply to all forms of education. As always, there are of course some exceptions. In this blog, you can read whether you need to charge VAT on your services in education.

Different types of education
The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration distinguishes four types of exempt educational services: Legally regulated education, vocational education, general education and arts education. In addition, tutoring, (preliminary) exam training and exam administration are also exempt from VAT, if they relate to one of the above categories.

Legally regulated education
Legally regulated education is the type of education that’s included in one of the education laws, and is supervised by the Dutch Inspectorate of Education. So this is primary school up to, and including, higher education.

Vocational education
Vocational education is education that directly trains for a specific trade or profession. This also includes courses or training to acquire or maintain professional knowledge. As a self-employed person, you must meet a number of requirements to use the VAT exemption for this type of education. For example, you must have a CRKBO registration (Central Register Short Vocational Education). This registration is not (yet) necessary if you teach at a legally recognized vocational training institute.

General education
Education that does not fall under vocational training, but is also not meant for a hobby or to develop personal skills, falls under general education. This type of education is exempt if the content corresponds to the legally regulated general education, as provided by regular educational institutions. Language education is an exception to this rule; this is exempt in all cases.

Exceptions for arts education
Arts education is only exempt from VAT for persons under 21 years of age. This means that it is taxable when you teach adults. Arts education includes:

  • Singing and music lessons
  • Dance education (with the exception of aerobics)
  • Drama education, such as acting and theatre lessons
  • Visual arts
  • The reference date is the age of the participant when the course starts. If the participant turns 21 during the period of education, the exemption continues until the end of the course, with a maximum of 1 year.

    Am I exempted from VAT as an entrepreneur in education?

    Childcare and Pedagogical work
    Working in childcare or a childminder facility is exempt from VAT if the institution meets the requirements of the Childcare Act. But if you work in a childcare centre as an independent pedagogue, then these services ARE taxable.

    When are my activities taxable?
    Please note: you’re only exempt from VAT if you actually work as a teacher for one of the aforementioned agencies. If you perform any other type of work for an educational institution, there’s a good chance that you will have to charge VAT. Non-substantive study guidance, or the provision of training and courses that are of a hobby nature are also subject to VAT. For example, driving lessons, coaching or a first aid course.

    Are you unsure whether or not your educational services are exempt from VAT? You can find detailed information about this on the website of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration, or contact your bookkeeper.

    Author: Sanne Paaij


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