Green fees and VAT: The clock ticks

Posted: 1st September 2011

Clock 1Where a non-profit organisation makes supplies that are closely linked and essential to sport, those supplies are exempt from VAT.
Recently, a golf club went to the VAT Tribunal to argue that the exemption from VAT of supplies made to members was contrary to the purpose of the VAT Directive on which it is based. The club argued that green fees payable by non-members as well as members should be exempt from VAT.
The Tribunal agreed, with the result that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have announced that they intend to appeal to the Upper-Tier Tribunal. HMRC have also announced that they are not intending to pay other claims until the decision of the Upper Tribunal and that if golf clubs apply the decision and fail to standard-rate green fees paid by non-members, HMRC will treat them as having made an under-declaration of VAT.

Watch this space.