VAT: supplies to club members and non-members are not taxable

The Court of Justice of the European Court (CJEU) has ruled in the case of Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club (C-495/12) that green fees paid by non-members are VAT exempt.

This ruling means UK legislation is unlawful as it requires fees paid by non-members to non-profit-making sports clubs to be standard rated; HMRC could face significant repayments of tax as there are more than 400 related cases ongoing brought by UK golf clubs; and there could be similar claims for repayment made by other types of non-profit-making sports clubs.

Bridport is a non-profit-making golf club. Nearly 20 per cent of its income comes from ‘green fees’ charged to non-members for access to the course. Non-members are charged VAT on the green fees they pay, whereas members are not charged VAT on their annual membership fee…

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