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Green fees remain standard rated, say HMRC

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HMRC are seeking leave to appeal to the Upper Tier Tribunal against the First-Tier Tribunal decision in The Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club Limited (TC 1214).

The tribunal agreed with the club that green fees paid by non-members were exempt from VAT.

Judge Bishopp held that the exclusion of supplies to non-members from the exemption in VATA 1994 Sch 9 Group 10 Item 3 was ‘not capable of properly achieving the objective of Article 133(d) of the Principal VAT Directive’.

The tribunal was ‘not persuaded by HMRC’s argument that the exclusion applied to non-members was justified on grounds that it reduced distortion of competition’, HMRC said in Revenue & Customs Brief 30/11.

HMRC believe that the tribunal has erred in interpreting EU law. They remain of the view that ‘where clubs that run membership schemes make charges to non-members for the use of certain sporting facilities, such as green fees, the charges are standard rated’.

HMRC said: ‘Decisions of the First-Tier Tribunal are binding only on the parties to the decision. Consequently, we do not propose to pay other claims already submitted and we are not inviting new claims in the wake of this decision. Any claims that are submitted will be rejected.’

Issue: 1088
Categories: News , Indirect taxes , VAT