VAT codes on sales

In order that the correct amount of VAT is paid to HMRC, and all the statistical information can be entered on the University’s VAT Returns, every external transaction that we carry out must have the correct VAT code entered (also called a tax code).

Coda and Proactis use these codes to post VAT to the relevant VAT accounts, and to summarise all the information required for the VAT Returns. That is why it is so vitally important to get these codes right, as any mistakes directly affect our VAT returns, can be difficult to correct afterwards, and may give rise to penalties from HMRC.

All banking, income and sales invoices need a VAT code prefixed with the letter “S”.

If a VAT code is not entered then it will be assumed that the supply is standard rated and VAT will be deducted.

As mistakes can be expensive, please contact the VAT Section of the Finance Office, telephone: 46076  if you are unsure of which code to use.

Code “SXT”

  • Tuition fees
  • Teaching
  • Examination services
  • Services to Ofsted
  • Lectures and course fees
  • Conferences and seminars
  • Student course materials
  • Student photocopying income
  • Research income from eligible bodies
  • Bench fees from students and eligible bodies
  • Room hire with no catering
  • Re-imbursement of travel costs and other academic costs from eligible bodies
    Private patient’s income

Code “SOS”

  • Pure donations with “no strings” attached
  • Contributions from eligible bodies
  • Sponsorship from eligible bodies
  • Christmas collections, birthday and other collections for staff put through a Budget Centre account
  • Funding Council grants
  • Re-imbursement of travel and other expenses from foreign institutions
  • Coffee clubs where the Budget Centre supply no refreshments or staff

Code “SZR”

  • Sales of books and publications (not electronic)
  • Subscriptions for journals and periodicals (not electronic)
  • Bibliographies
  • Library fines and penalties
  • In addition the following are used for sales outside the UK:
    • ZRGEU – goods to business customers in the EU
    • SZRSEU – services to business customers in the EU
    • SZRGOE – goods to customers outside the EU
    • SZRSOE – services to customers outside the EU

Code “SLR”

This code will not be used by Budget Centres, apart from Housing Services and Estate Services for supplies of domestic fuel.

Code “SSR”

The following list, which is not exhaustive, includes all the type of income that is Vatable at the standard rate, and must be banked using an “SSR” code:


  • Income from sales or disposals of second hand equipment
  • Income from sales to staff, including new or second hand computers
  • Use of office space, facilities and staff time to third parties or staff
  • Ticket sales and admission charges
  • Sales of videos, films, dvds, and computer programmes
  • Advertising income
  • Photographic services
  • Printing services

SSR1140 - Commission and royalty income

SSR1145 - Photocopying income including sales of copying cards

SSR1150 - Research income from commercial companies

SSR1160 - Consultancy, editorial, and commercial contracts income

SSR1165 - Telephone, fax and postage income

SSR1210 - Catering and vending machine income and commission

SSR1375 - Conference and exhibition facilities

All the following income is also Vatable, but will not normally be received by most Budget Centres. Those Budget Centres concerned should continue using their own range of codes, otherwise code SSR1110 must be used:

  • Bar income
  • Launderette income and commission
  • Car parking income
  • Security services income
  • Cleaning services income
  • Landscape services income
  • Alumni and gift sales

List of common Element 1 codes with a suggested VAT code.