Customs drops golf club VAT appeal

On 10 July, just days before the High Court was to hear the case, Customs & Excise withdrew its appeal against last April?s VAT tribunal ruling that Chobham Golf Club in Surrey would not have to pay VAT on subscriptions received from members.

Customs had said that some organisations were abusing VAT exemptions for non-profit sports clubs and sought to claim VAT on income received by clubs like Chobham that operated alongside an associated catering management company.

Deloitte & Touche helped Chobham prepare last year?s tribunal test case and was briefing counsel for the High Court when Customs withdrew its appeal.

Deloittes VAT partner John Kennedy said the strength of the tribunal ruling may have influenced Customs? legal team.

?I would hope that all sports clubs can now benefit from the Chobham case and not have any VAT to pay,? he said.

Customs said around a hundred cases involving sports clubs were pending when the Chobham appeal was dropped.

Customs was drafting a replacement order to close loopholes that enabled an estimated #20m in tax to be avoided, she added.

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