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Local authorities, economic activity and the special legal regime

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The First-tier Tribunal has released its long-awaited decisions in three cases concerning the VAT treatment of fees charged by local authorities across the UK for access to sports and leisure facilities, holding that while the activities constituted economic activity, they were nevertheless exempt from VAT on the grounds that they were carried out under a special legal regime. These decisions will have wide-ranging implications for the VAT treatment of a large number of activities carried out by local authorities or other statutory bodies under a statutory regime which imposes conditions or obligations on the body when providing the services.
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