News flash – Updated!

I am standing in the General Election in Witney with the campaign REDUCE VAT in SPORT. That’s David Cameron’s constituency. We are getting leaflets (Click here to view) to all the 51,400 homes in the Witney constituency and have had two spots on Oxfordshire radio and in their press. I have also done 2 Party Political You Tube broadcasts and another will follow... read more

VAT court case London – update

The Association of Golf Course Owners VAT case against Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, with three clubs joined in, was heard in the Royal Courts of Justice in London, from Monday to Wednesday 23rd to 25th March. We were represented by barrister Tim Brown from Temple Tax Chambers and HMRC was represented by Raymond Hill of Monckton Chambers. The main issue was the distortion in certain charges and their VAT treatment, between members’ clubs and proprietary clubs. The aim of the case is to get the issue to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, because we (and of course legal advisers) say that the VAT laws in relation to sport as operated in the UK break European law. Tim Brown gave a brilliant summing up of all the evidence and we are hoping for a judgment in about 6 to 8 weeks time. The case was in the interest of all proprietary sport in the UK which suffers because of a ludicrous piece of legislation, loosely referred to as the VAT Sports Order of 1999. This is the nonsense that says that a member-owned golf club taking £1.5 million in green fees is NOT subject to commercial influence!!
Many thanks  to all 25 people who produced evidence, the 21 people who turned up at the Court to support for one or more days – and those providing funds to help pay for the case. Onwards and upwards to Europe perhaps!

The Association of Golf Course Owners appeal against HMRC…

is being held in the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand in London,
Monday March 23rd to Wednesday 25th and possibly also on the Thursday.

It is in Court 24. Main entrance, through security and turn left – down the stairs to Court 24. Some of AGCO’s 26 witnesses will be giving evidence on Monday afternoon and others on Tuesday. We are represented by tax barrister, Tim Brown, of Temple Tax Chambers. HMRC is represented by barrister Raymond Hill who fought the Bridport case for HMRC.

We look forward to seeing AGCO supporters at court and thanks to all for the donations and time taken to get us there!!
We will keep you updated with the case and then the judgment. We are aiming to get this VAT distortion to Europe via the vehicle of affiliation fees!! Very technical stuff.

If things weren’t so serious this might give you a chuckle – it’s equality!
Click here to download the AGCO Winter Newsletter 2014/15
p.s. Look for “Golfing Cheats” on KINDLE!


As you know Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club, plus 457 other clubs, got a ruling in Europe that they should be refunded their VAT on green fees going back to 1990. Read more here

Bingo Mr Chancellor

The VAT disaster. Yes, the Chancellor has reduced VAT on BINGO to 10% but still nothing for sport. Oh, dear. But then the BINGO industry is united and sport isn’t.  And certainly golf isn’t! Keep lobbying!

Take a look at this video on YouTube:

Welcome to AGCO

Fighting for fair VAT and tax in golf for 20 years

Welcome to the Association of Golf Course Owners (1993). We work for privately owned golf courses throughout the UK to achieve fairness in all aspects of tax and VAT. We have been operating since 1993, with a strong track record of successes. We started our VAT protests with letters to Government and Customs and Excise on 16th December 1993. Yes, over 20 years ago!

We represent the interests of all proprietary clubs – unless clubs specifically opt out of our campaigns. We have supporters and contacts in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. So far we have more than 250 clubs taking an active part in our campaigns. We are all volunteers and include solicitors and accountants, all of whom are golf club owners. We don’t charge a subscription. We rely on donations and have specific fund raising campaigns when needed.

We are the oldest association representing privately owned/proprietary golf clubs in Europe and the second oldest in the world. Only the National Golf Course Owners Association in the USA is older – having been founded, from an earlier association, in 1991

And in January 1994 we started our complaints about the members’ clubs cheating on corporation tax on green fees. Guess what? Those same clubs are still cheating on their tax. Or is it corruption, with the Inland Revenue forgiving them?