It seems the claimants in Bridport will have to go back to court still to get their refunds. There is a question whether this is unjust enrichment. After all, these clubs won’t be attempting to repay all those people who paid them green fees from 1990 onwards on which they paid VAT.
We have heard from one smart golf society that has played some posh courses at great expense and they are on the case about reclaiming the VAT.
But in reality the members’ clubs will just pocket the lot if they get their refunds. It isn’t like the refunds in 1994/5 when they got the money back on their membership fees. That at least went back to the club members who had paid it. Some members asked for the VAT back individually but the tribunals refused. We think it was fought out with Exeter Country Club – but may have made that up! Several clubs had arguments over that. Remember how the club got the VAT back on the subs, including those paid by lady members, and spent it on refurbishing the men’s cloakroom and bar.
But this time it is different. The VAT was charged to customers. So AGCO has protested about that. The rule of thumb is that they would get back roughly twice the amount of their annual green fees. So those jammy clubs with £1 million of green fees – of which there are a few – could get back £2 million. Even modest clubs will be asking for £200,000 plus interest. Bridport’s claim was over £140,000 and they are relatively small.
So …… AGCO has protested to HMRC, the Treasury and the VAT policy team. Read our letter to Edward Troup, the Tax Assurance Commissioner, dated 31st December 2013. Please send it on to your own MP and protest about the huge waste of £500 million in paying back golf clubs who have already cheated on corporation tax.
Click here and read on: Questions in Parliament re Bridport