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Golf Club Green Fee Ruling - Good News

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The VAT People - Expert Author

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19th December 2013

The ECJ has today ruled that green fees paid by non-members of golf clubs can be exempt from VAT. This is fantastic news for the industry and hopefully many VAT refund claims that were stood over behind the lead case involving Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club will now be paid.

As you may recall, the ECJ was asked to rule whether "green fees" charged to non-members of golf clubs to use the club's facilities should be exempt from VAT. The golf club argued that the UK VAT legislation was more restrictive than the European legislation for non-profit making bodies and that the green fees were not 'additional income'.

The ECJ judgement clearly states that "green fees paid for the use of a golf course by visiting non-members of a non-profit-making body managing that golf course and also offering a membership scheme do not constitute additional income within the meaning of Article 134(b) of Directive 2006/112". It therefore follows that it is immaterial whether the supply is made to a member or a visiting non-member. The supplies of facilities made to both should be treated as exempt from VAT.

From reading the case we are of the opinion that it will be difficult for HMRC to interpret the judgement in a way as to not pay out any outstanding VAT claims and we eagerly await their response.

If a golf club has not already submitted a claim to recover VAT paid on non-members green fees, or should your clients need assistance with assessing the impact of receiving additional VAT exempt income going forward, please do not hesitate to contact our free helpline to discuss how we can help.


About the Author

The VAT People are leading VAT and Customs Duty consultants based in the North West of England. We work with a wide range of businesses throughout the UK as well as assisting our accountancy colleagues to unravel the thorny VAT issues for their clients. We are one of the UK's largest and most comprehensive sources of VAT and Customs advice, our consultancy team having over 140 years of experience in VAT and Customs gained in either HMRC or a Big 4 accountancy practice environment.

Call us on our VAT helpline 0800 077 4604 to discuss. All initial discussions are free with no-obligation.



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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-12-31 09:27:14 in Tax Articles

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