The distinction between a business or non-business activity is hugely important when considering the VAT treatment.
Where an academy makes a business supply then VAT may be due on that income, but where the activity is non-business there is no question of the transaction being subject to VAT. Deciding whether an activity is business or non-business is therefore hugely important.
Unlike the rules for Income Tax and Corporation Tax, the VAT rules do not rely upon a requirement to generate a profit from the activity.
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