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Private tutoring in public places

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by MrsBasden, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. MrsBasden

    MrsBasden New commenter

    Has anyone ever had experience of providing tuition either in a library or in a coffee shop? Did it work or was it too distracting for the learner and other users? I work part time at an FE college but have been requested to do tuition for a colleague's child. I am due to meet the potential student next week at a cafe for an initial consultation rather than a lesson but after that, if we agree to meet up on a weekly basis, I would prefer to meet in the library as I am not able to get to her home easily.

    Any advice welcome. Thank you.
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    The coffee shop and the library will probably have something to say about you using their premises to conduct your business.
  3. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    Many cafes do allow business meetings - you do obviously need to buy a coffee so that you are also a paying customer. Provided that you are tutoring at a quiet time of day when people are not queuing for tables then I wouldn't say it was a problem.
    As said above, many public libraries do not allow commercial activity on their premises. On the other hand though, in my area there are many home ed parents who use the library with their children and it could be hard for staff to identify the difference between that and tutoring. The other drawback of using a library is that some can be strict about noise levels that can distract other library users. If the library has a coffee shop that may be a good compromise.
  4. MrsBasden

    MrsBasden New commenter

    Thank you both for your replies. I didn't think it was so much of an issue with the coffee shops in general, as people do have meetings there! I did wonder about using the library even though I have heard of people using the it for this purpose.
  5. MrsBasden

    MrsBasden New commenter

    As she will be my only student if I take her on, what HMRC paperwork do I need to do to declare my earnings as a private tutor? Sorry for so many questions but I've not registered myself before as a private tutor and have only given one off sessions in the past.
  6. mathsmutt

    mathsmutt Star commenter

    Hi @MrsBasden ,

    This extract from https://community.tes.com/threads/authors-advice-anchor.743745/ may help:

    At present, compulsory VAT registration is only a requirement if your turn over is more than £83,000.
    You can, of course, claim legitimate expenses as part of your tutoring business if you are registered with HMRC https://www.gov.uk/new-business-register-for-tax , but you would have to keep records and expect to complete a tax return.
    Otherwise, you inform HMRC about how much you have earned and they change your tax code accordingly..

    Good luck!
    MrsBasden likes this.
  7. MrsBasden

    MrsBasden New commenter

    Thanks Mathsmutt. Is it true that once you're registered as self employed with HMRC, you have to fill in a tax return every year indefinitely even if you stop tutoring?
  8. mathsmutt

    mathsmutt Star commenter

  9. Apple101

    Apple101 Occasional commenter

    You would think so and so did I but honestly never had a problem with it and do it regularly.

    Have taught a Burger King, libraries, costa. In the middle of a shopping centre.

    Nobody cares.
  10. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    It never occurred to me that a coffee shop might object to "business" going on on their premises. Some seem to rely on it!
  11. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I suppose to get around safeguarding regulations, some LEAs use public libraries to tutor students who have been excluded from school. On the few occasions I have done this, I found it difficult, due to the level of distraction, and the lack of computer facilities. With well-motivated students, it might be different.
  12. MrsBasden

    MrsBasden New commenter

    Thanks again for further comments. I will be meeting my potential student on Saturday for an initial discussion before deciding whether to meet on a regular basis.

    It will most likely take place at my home, but I like your approach Apple101. :)

    Having done further reading about setting up as a private tutor, at what point would it be appropriate to declare your earnings as one? She will be my only student as I don't intend to take on more at this point. If you tutor in your home, have you needed to apply for public liability or professional indemnity insurance?
  13. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    I have regularly provided private tutoring in coffee shops etc. over the past 10 years and never once had a problem.

    With regards to declaring tax, it depends on the formality of your arrangement. Helping out a friend's son or daughter for a short period of time might not require this.


    "If this is just on an ad hoc basis for small amounts, then you needn’t worry too much, but if you start to make a good profit you’re effectively running a business and need to let the taxman know within three months."
  14. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I used to use a coffee shop for EFL tutoring; we'd both grab a bite and/or a coffee. It was never a problem as it was local to my school and they knew me well.
  15. MrsBasden

    MrsBasden New commenter

    Thanks again for responding to my enquiries. To give you an update, I met my student yesterday with my colleague and it was a very relaxed meeting. I collected the information I needed about how to help her and we are meeting at my home next week for our first proper lesson.
  16. Georginalouise

    Georginalouise New commenter

    I've tutored in a library, twice a week for the best part of a year. I did ask the staff if it would be ok and they said that as long as we used the main library and not the 'quiet room' it was fine. My observation over that time was that I was most certainly not the only private tutor doing it and that it was a common occurrence.
  17. Ravena

    Ravena New commenter

    I teach from my home but purely online nowadays. No issues with liability/travelling time etc. You would need to complete a tax return each year if you register as self employed but it doesn't take long if you keep a careful spreadsheet record all year plus carefully file your end of year p60 from your school
  18. AshgarMary

    AshgarMary New commenter

    For the current tax year (2016/17) you should fill in a self-assessment form for the HMRC recording your income and expenses. Expenses can include text books, stationery, photocopying, a proportion of telephone or other computer costs. BUT note that from April 2017 (ie the 2017/18 tax year), there are some changes afoot where you can earn up to £1000 in a year from 'shared economy' (eg Ebay or bits of work such as tutoring). Suggest you give the HMRC a call and have a chat. They're quite helpful - ask for Technical if you get a numpty on the phone. The people in Technical are much more knowledgeable.
    DustinFox, Steph2002 and Piranha like this.
  19. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    That is interesting - thank you. I have earned in the region of £1,500 from my odd bits of tutoring this year, which I wil tell the tax man about. Assuming similar next year, that could leave me £200 better off.
  20. AshgarMary

    AshgarMary New commenter

    Do double check the actual facts of this - I'm not 100% sure how it will work - for some people I am given to understand it may still benefit them to do the 'income minus expenses' route.
    You can also earn another £1000 from the 'property sharing' eg AirBNB (separate from any 'rent a room scheme' you may have going on)
    I've tried to find a decent link setting it all out but none came up in a cursory google.
    I'm not a qualified tax accountant :D

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