Marathon runners handed VAT bills
London Marathon runners are due to be charged VAT on registration fees from charities for whom they were running to raise sponsorship money, Treasury Economic secretary David Healey announced in the Commons.
He said those charities that insisted their runners pay a registration fee or commit to a minimum amount of sponsorship before taking part were in effect selling places in the race – and VAT was now due.
Only money raised above the minimum or the fee would be free of the tax, he said.
It meant charities could – as they had always been able to – choose whether to plan their sponsorship of runners in a way that enabled them to recover some of the VAT on costs associated with the race – or in such a way that no VAT was due on the amount paid to them by runners.
Healey said donations where nothing was received in return were VAT free – ‘even if a charity asks individuals to “pledge” or “commit” to raise a certain amount of sponsorship’.