Paying back of course fees

(16 Posts)
smokeybandit Sat 03-Sep-16 15:05:08

Hi everyone. My work enrolled me on a course for which I had to sign a form agreeing to pay back the course fees if I left within a certain amount of time. I signed (didn't keep a copy) and agreed as I had no intention of leaving anytime soon and felt in the event that I did, it would be an investment in myself anyway. Recently finished the course and happened to have found a new job, knew I would be liable for full course fees. On top of this, I've also been charged for the days studying and attending tuition. Receiving the invoice I was confused to see VAT which was not mentioned in the total or at any point. Where do I stand on the VAT? I know they can claim back for employee training so I don't feel I should be charged for something not lost to them but the course went into this financial year, if they don't claim back VAT until next April, can they still claim it back as I was an employee during this financial year or do I have to be an employee at the time of claiming it? Does anyone know?

prh47bridge Sun 04-Sep-16 00:51:45

Whether or not they can claim back the VAT is irrelevant. For what it is worth most businesses reclaim VAT four times a year - they don't have to wait until the end of the financial year. And they can claim back the VAT regardless of whether or not you are an employee. But all of that is irrelevant. Whether or not a business should charge you VAT has nothing to do with whether or not they could reclaim the input VAT.

If they charge you VAT they won't get to keep it. They will have to pay it all to HMRC.

You need expert advice on this. My belief is that they should not charge VAT for this. You are compensating your employer for costs they have incurred, not paying them for supplying goods or services. However, I am not an expert so I may be wrong. Please get proper advice.

smokeybandit Sun 04-Sep-16 09:06:58

Ok thanks, that makes sense I think, I was thinking if they already paid for everything (finished course months before resigning so assume they would have) they would be charging for something they'll claim back and would therefore keep. But I didn't realise they can claim more than once a year. I was going to chack with HMRC but thought I'd see if ayone had experienced this.

flowery Sun 04-Sep-16 09:31:48

Are they charging you VAT or are they wanting you to reimburse the full amount they paid out on your behalf which included some VAT the college charged them?

smokeybandit Sun 04-Sep-16 10:15:39

I've just looked up the course and if I take away what they told me it was going to be, it leaves the VAT they've added so I guess it's the full price they paid.

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Sun 04-Sep-16 10:19:25

I am in a very similar situation!! I am on a funded course which I will need to pay back fees for if I leave. In the meantime I have a new boss and change of working hours which mean I am seriously considering leaving as I am seriously struggling with childcare. The course fees have been mentioned to me repeatedly but nothing about VAT, will need to check this.

smokeybandit Sun 04-Sep-16 10:23:09

I've just realised it probably sounds very much like I'm begrudging paying. I know I have to and that's fine, I'm just a bit stung that their first instinct was to want take my whole last pay and a half, knowing I would still be working alongside them so not exactly leaving the country, knowing it's my sole income and I have children, without notifying me. I just want to be sure I am liable for every penny I'm charged as I can't afford to pay extra and it leaves me wondering if I can even afford to change jobs!

Balletgirlmum Sun 04-Sep-16 10:27:17

If a company is vat registered then they have to charge VAT on all invoices they raise unless it is a vat exempt item.

They have no choice.

smokeybandit Sun 04-Sep-16 10:29:09

TooStressy - I wish I had asked for a full breakdown before I contemplated leaving, I would've tried to save some of it up.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sun 04-Sep-16 10:33:22

Should they even be raising an invoice? Isn't this a deduction from wages and therefore raising an invoice is not correct??

But like a pp I don't actually know the answer to this and suggest you get proper advice.

Can they produce a copy of the agreement you signed? I'd want to see that if I were you.

anyname123 Sun 04-Sep-16 10:34:20

Lots of companies do a sliding scale for repayment, as they would presumably had SOME benefit of you doing the course. I'd ask for a copy of the agreement you signed, worse they can say is no.

Balletgirlmum Sun 04-Sep-16 10:38:19

It depends if the OP agrees to them deducting the amount from her final salary payment (this is allowed if she has signed to say this even if it takes he under the NMW after a 2015 tribunal ruling)

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Sun 04-Sep-16 10:38:24

Thanks, that's a good idea. I'm hoping it won't come to that. I do begrudge paying as I wouldn't even be considering leaving now if hours and management hadn't changed but that is a whole other thread!

smokeybandit Sun 04-Sep-16 11:06:16

MovingOnUp - they only raised an invoice on request, because I literally can not afford my last pay and a half to be completely taken, which was the original plan.

Anyname - there was a sliding scale but I would have needed to be there a year or two after for it to have taken effect, it's only been a few months so I knew the total would be payable. when I was told the total that would have been taken from my wages, lets say it was £1000, that was what I expected but the invoice has £1000 course fee plus VAT.

TooStressy - perhaps you could speak to HR/payroll aboit the reason behind wanting to leave, they may reduce the fee as your conditions changed from what they were when you undertook the training? Doubtful but worth a try maybe.

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Sun 04-Sep-16 12:51:50

Thanks smokey, I haven't gone to HR... yet. It's complicated by the fact that my course is pay-per-module. I had completed half then new boss came into post. I was told then I could have withdrawn but continued to do the course because I am stubborn. She has already had a massively negative impact on my career and having the course half finished on my CV would look worse than not doing it at all. So I will suck it up and try to stick it out there or pay the outstanding fees. As I say though, that's why I begrudge it. Don't want to derail the thread though! Hope you get it sorted.

smokeybandit Sun 04-Sep-16 15:55:58

Oh TooStressy, I thought you'd finished it. That sucks. If I were you and it were possible, I would try to make a payment plan to pay the course fees already paid and then try and set up to pay the rest myself while in a new job. Or as you say, stick it out but save and pay them back as soon as you're done. Hope you don't have long left, mine was about 9 months.

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