Are fees for swearing oaths, affidavits and taking declarations subject to VAT?

As an assistant solicitor on a busy high street, I’m asked to swear numerous oaths, affidavits and to take declarations. I charge a £5 fee for the swear and £2 for any exhibits my firm allows me to keep. Are these charges subject to VAT?

No. Oath fees retained personally by associate or assistant solicitors are not subject to value added tax (VAT) by agreement between the Law Society and HM Revenue and Customs.

However, there are exceptions where the associate or assistant solicitor is:

  • registered or liable to register for VAT as a result of the aggregate of taxable supplies made to their own account, or
  • required to account to their firm for oath fees received – in which case, the fees should be dealt with as part of the firm’s taxable turnover

For more information, see Execution of Documents (3rd edition) which is available to purchase from our online bookshop.


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

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