Tax on professional income: can it be applied to training courses, psychologists and coaches?

Can psychologists, coaches and publishers of training courses not register an individual entrepreneur, but be self-employed and pay tax on professional income? Let’s figure it out.

For which types of activities in general can you pay tax on professional income:

From 2023, professional income tax payers can be conditionally divided into 2 groups:

  1. Those who are indicated in the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated 08.12.2022 No. 851 “On the list of activities”. This is a special document that determined an exhaustive list of classes for paying for NAP without registering an individual entrepreneur. There are, for example, artisans, clothing manufacturers, hairdressers, etc. But coaches, psychologists, course creators were not registered there.
  2. Those self-employed persons to whom the following conditions can simultaneously apply:
  • provide services or perform work; trade – not suitable;
  • works are performed or services are provided outside the location of the customer (individual, individual entrepreneur, legal entity);
  • the Internet is used to perform work, provide services;
  • the Internet is also used to transfer the results of work and services.
  • At first glance, it may seem that working as a psychologist or online coach is quite suitable for each of the signs, and you don’t have to bother with the registration of individual entrepreneurship, reporting, responsibility, and tax calculation. But it’s not quite there.

What is the problem for coaches, psychologists and training courses?

There is such a rule in jurisprudence: if a general and a special rule of law compete with each other, a special one is applied.

What this means for us: if any type of activity is regulated by special legislation, this special legislation applies.

So, the Education Code works for educational courses. For psychologists – the Law “On Psychological Assistance”. And in these legal acts it is written that in order to provide educational services or psychological assistance, it is imperative to register an individual entrepreneur or a legal entity. At the same time, the laws contain definitions and signs of educational activities, tutoring, psychological assistance, which sometimes intersect with each other and their correct differentiation creates difficulties for both taxpayers and the tax inspectorate.

Therefore, in order to choose the right form of activity and tax regime, you need to understand who you are:

  • psychologist;
  • coach providing educational services;
  • an online/offline coach who does not provide educational services;
  • a person providing services to provide access to online courses (for example, video and text files);

Can psychologists pay tax on professional income:

The answer is unequivocal – no. Psychological assistance can only be provided by individual entrepreneurs or organizations. Both online and offline.

Can training courses and coaches pay tax on professional income:

Offline courses cannot. Because the Internet is not used to provide services – and this is one of the conditions for applying a special tax regime.

Online courses can if:

this is a service for accessing online course files without direct instruction;

This is a tutor service. Tutoring services are understood as consultations on individual academic disciplines, topics, areas, incl. training in centralized testing.

Coach – can, if the coaching service provided is not related to educational activities, and if it is provided online. What is the difference between coaching and educational activities is sometimes difficult to say, since the Ministry of Taxes and Duties has clarified the right to apply the NAP to online coaches, but there is no definition of the word “coaching” in the legislation. Therefore, in each specific case, it is necessary to understand individually, and before starting activities, it is better to write an official request to the Ministry of Taxes and Duties;

Online courses cannot, if those courses are related to educational activities.

Educational activities are activities for training and education carried out by an educational institution, an organization implementing educational programs of science-oriented education, another organization, an individual entrepreneur engaged in educational activities, in the course of implementing educational programs.

At the same time, a lecture hall, a thematic seminar, a workshop, a training, a webinar are types of training courses related to educational activities.

Such are the difficulties in the legislation. Let’s hope that the legislature will make the laws more convenient, harmonize with each other through the introduction of a new tax regime.

And this article will help you figure out what kind of activity to formalize – an individual entrepreneur, a legal entity, or just pay tax on professional income.

By the way, how can a lawyer help?

If you need to start the activity quickly, but you can’t figure out the intricacies of the laws, I will be happy to advise you personally. During the consultation, we will analyze your type of activity and work out the optimal and legal business structure.

If the case is particularly confusing, together we will draw up a competent letter explaining the legislation. Asking the right question is half the answer we need.