Does this situation sound familiar? You’ve just starting working as a language teacher, tutoring students. You need to charge your students, and you need to ensure you’re doing so legally. This means creating an invoice. Before you go start researching how to get started, first ask yourself:
Is this something you will devote yourself to fully, or is it just a part-time thing?
The answer to this question is important because it will help you determine just what you’ll need to manage your invoicing, as well as any expenses.
If you know that you will be working regularly as a teacher, either full-time or part-time it will be necessary for you to register with HMRC as self-employed within 3 months of starting out. You’ll need this for tax purposes and also for National Insurance reasons when it comes time for your Self Assessment Tax Return. Failing to register on-time can result in a hefty fine.
Language courses and tax
Some products and services fall under the exempt category for VAT. Take a look at our blog post on VAT-exempt invoicing to learn more. But we’ll provide a quick recap here too. Some educational services are considered VAT-exempt. However, if you are being paid privately, for example offering private language courses, these are VAT exempt if they are for English as a Foreign Language (EFL).
For other languages, if you would like to be VAT registered, you should check with the tax authorities, as some are VAT exempt depending on the subject matter. The alternative is not registering for VAT. If your annual turnover falls under £83,000, then it is not necessary for you to register for VAT, in which case you would not need to include this in your invoices.
If you’re working for a tutoring school, then the invoicing will likely be carried out by the administration.
Invoices for private courses
Invoicing software like Debitoor makes it easy for you to quickly create and send invoices as a sole trader. You can turn off VAT if your business is not VAT registered, or if it is VAT exempt. You can save your customer details to be auto-filled to each new invoice and send them along in just a click.
Online invoices also allow you to stay on top of your accounts - from seeing whether your customer has viewed your invoice, to tracking payments that are overdue to recording expenses for teaching supplies, books, and more.
In general, finding a good invoice template can help you be sure that you are meeting the necessary standard requirements for invoicing. All invoice templates should include a field for each of the following:
- Customer name and contact details
- Your registered business name (or full name if a sole trader) and registered address
- A unique invoice number
- The issue date of the invoice
- The date the course was given
- A description of the product or service
- The unit and price
- VAT (if applicable)
- The total amount owed
We also suggest always including a due date for your invoice, even though the standard payment period is 30 days. Read more about how a due date can be beneficial for your invoices.