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VAT refunds to sports clubs

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HMRC has published Revenue & Customs Brief 10/2016, revising its position on unjust enrichment. This follows the FTT decision in Berkshire Golf Club [2015] UKFTT 627, which found that non-profit making sports clubs that had incorrectly charged VAT on exempt supplies to non-members were entitled to a 90% refund of the VAT paid. The case was brought by a number of clubs to challenge HMRC’s policy of repaying only up to a maximum of 50%, announced following the original Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club decision. HMRC has cancelled two earlier briefs containing its policy based on Bridport.

Accordingly, HMRC has updated its guidance in VAT Information Sheet 1/2015 on the procedure for clubs affected by the Bridport decision to claim refunds (see Refund claims already rejected by HMRC and not appealed must be resubmitted as new claims, subject to the four-year time limit. Golf course maintenance costs are now to be treated as an overhead and may be apportioned in accordance with a partial-exemption method. ‘Corporate days’ and supplies to tour operators are taxable at the standard rate of VAT.

The address for ‘VAT Bridport claims’ is set out in the paragraph headed ‘Making a claim’ in Revenue & Customs Brief 10/2016.

Issue: 1308
Categories: News , VAT