Payment for academy photographs is usually received in one of two ways.

The main alternatives are:-

  • The photographer sells the photographs to parents, with the academy receiving commission
  • The academy sells the photographs directly to parents

In the first instance the academy is making a supply of academy facilities, publicity, introductory services and possibly cash handling services to the photographer, but the amounts paid for the photos are not income of the academy and remain the responsibility of the photographer. The commission, which may be a fixed or variable amount, will be subject to VAT if the school is VAT registered and the academy should raise a formal invoice for this unless the photographer operates a self-billing mechanism.

Where the academy sells the photographs to the parents directly the whole of the money received will be business income of the academy. The photographs will be subject to VAT if the school is VAT-registered. Where the academy subcontracts the work involved to a photographer the VAT charged on these costs will be recoverable if the academy is registered for VAT.

It is important to understand the supply being made and who is actually making the supply.

Remember if a parent-teacher association or similar arranges and makes the supply then the academy is not making the supply and the PTA is responsible for any VAT.

VAT Treatment


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