On 19th December the European Court gave the judgment for Bridport. The judgment is that the green fees aren’t gonged out because they are additional income. What the court ruled was that the actual exemption cannot be interpreted in a way that reduces it, even with the aim of reducing distortion. In other words, the UK was wrong in restricting the original exemption to members at members’ clubs. So the exemption at a members’ club applies to membership fees and green fees!
Sadly the question that they didn’t put to Europe was “how do we eliminate the distortion?” “What are we allowed to do?”
We understand that the clubs have to go back to the national court here for some further hearing before they can get their refunds of VAT. Remember that their refunds of VAT go back to 1st January 1990. Bridport itself claimed £140,000 of VAT refund. 457 clubs stood behind Bridport and HMRC has disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act that those 457 clubs are reclaiming £115 million of VAT. Plus, of course, the interest. It seems that the total claim could be in excess of £500 million with claims from over 1000 clubs.
Oh, and don’t forget, that is £500 million on about £3 billion of green fees since 1990 on which they have all – except Bridport – systematically evaded tax on those same green fees!
Here you can see:
The original judgment in Bridport
The ruling in the Upper Tribunal
The 8 questions for Europe
The AGCO application to be joined in to the case no.4
The AGCO application to be joined in to the case no.5a
The AGCO application to be joined in to the case no.5b
The rejection of AGCO’s application
The decision in Bridport from the European Court 19th December 2013
Click here and read on: Why Bridport?