VAT tribunal swings in golf clubs’ favour

GOLF CLUBS have been boosted by a VAT tribunal that could leave up to 400 organisations receiving six-figure repayments from the taxman.

The tribunal, brought about by Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club, ruled that clubs owned by their members should not face VAT on the charges issued to players who are not members.

Industry sources estimate that there are around 400 cases outstanding on this. Many of these claims go back to 1973 because of a House of Lords decision in Fleming that allowed catch-up claims to be submitted in early 2009. These claims run up into six figures, the sources claim.

Paddy Behan, director of Behan and Co, said: “This is a welcome boost to golf clubs. We hope HMRC will not appeal and the decision will stand.

“This might not be end of the story because the question of whether compound interest is due on the repayments has not been settled,” he added.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “HMRC is currently considering the decision of the tribunal with our legal advisers.”

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