The county card is a discount card giving discounts on green fees. The green fees, thanks to Bridport, are VAT exempt at members’ club and standard rated at our clubs. But the discount card is standard rated for VAT. That’s simple VAT law. Counties of course ignore this and don’t even register for VAT.
Many counties are wrapping a discount card into their compulsory membership affiliation fee. They are making the county card mandatory. We have asked HMRC to look at this one. It probably turns the membership, which might be VAT exempt, into a discount card which is standard rated. While county golf unions flatly refuse to register for VAT things aren’t straightforward!
We are taking the whole issue of mandatory fees to the VAT tribunal if HMRC won’t give a sensible ruling on it. The exemption is for certain services closely linked to sport but only if essential. If the person says “I don’t want it. This is not essential to me. I am not paying for it. You as the club will have to pay for me” how can it be considered as ESSENTIAL and VAT exempt?!
Click here to read on: Handicaps