The European Court has now ruled that members’ clubs should not have been charging VAT. Seems like an ideal time for people to write to those clubs and ask for refunds of VAT, regardless of whether the clubs actually get their VAT back.
The historical VAT rates were: 15% from 1/1/90 to 18/3/91; 17½% from 19/3/91 to 30/11/08; 15% from 1/12/08 to 31/12/09; 17½% from 1/1/09 to 3/1/11 and then 20% from 4/1/11 to the present. The amounts included in the green fees when it was 15% are 3/23 i.e. 13%, when it was 17½% are 14.9% (say 15%) and at 20% – one-sixth. (i.e. it is 20/12 when you take the VAT out!)
So here is a suitable letter asking for your VAT back on green fees:
Dear Club Secretary,
I played golf at your golf club and paid a green fee between March 1991 and November 2008. The fee included VAT at 17 ½%. The approximate date of my visit was …………….. You will have a record of the green fee rate. The case of Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club, judgment C495/2 on 19th December 2013, in the European Court, ruled that green fees at member-owned clubs should have been VAT exempt since January 1st 1990. I believe that golfers are entitled to a refund of the VAT wrongly charged, regardless of whether your club receives the refunds claimed. The amount of VAT included in my green fee would have equated to 14.89%, say 15%. Clubs will of course be able to obtain refunds of the VAT charged, together with interest, so an approximation of 15% seems reasonable. Please be good enough to make the refund to me by cheque, made payable to …………………..
Here are few model letters to use: Model Letters to reclaim VAT