On 17th December 2013 AGCO filed three complaints to the European Commission. Our Government won’t rectify the VAT distortion. They persist with the 80% subsidies on business rates in CASC. And they simply refuse to charge tax to members’ clubs on their green fees. So we are asking the European Commission to take proceedings against the United Kingdom in order to stop the rot.
VAT – our first complaint asks the European Commission to take proceedings against the United Kingdom because they have failed to stop the VAT distortion in sport. Stopping distortion is a key principle of VAT law. We pursued the case of Chipping Sodbury and the judges recorded that there is distortion between member-owned clubs and proprietary ones. HMRC and Treasury politicians just say “So what? Europe envisages and tolerates VAT distortion in sport.” We want Europe to tell the UK that this distortion is unacceptable.
Producing fiscal neutrality is another key principle. That means charging similar products in the same way for VAT. We say that golfers have the same experience at members’ clubs as proprietary ones and the VAT treatment should be the same.
CASC – the dreadful Community Amateur Sports Club scheme. We say this causes distortion between CASC clubs and proprietary clubs. It is a disgrace. Langley Park Golf Club in Kent gets over £56,000 a year in business rates subsidy. We have complained to Europe that this is a form of illegal State Aid and we have asked that they demand the CASC scheme is withdrawn.
Corporation Tax. It is simple. Either the committees and Great and Good at posh members’ clubs are all tax cheats or HMRC is just waiving the tax they owe. Probably the Great and Good will say HMRC waives the tax. If so this could be another form of illegal State Aid and we have asked Europe to rule on it. That might be an adventurous application but will at least get attention!
VAT and affiliation fees. We didn’t like an initial ruling from HMRC. They told us the only way to appeal was a judicial review. So we gave them the statutory notice of intention to apply for a judicial review. They have backed off and decided we can go to a First Tier Tribunal! We’ve given HMRC until January 8th to reconsider their previous decisions. Subject to that we make our application on 10th January. We have written to HMRC for a final ruling, asked them to review earlier decisions, and if they don’t will apply to the First Tier Tribunal
NEWSFLASH – we’ll keep you up to date!
Click here and read more – Golf Rotten to the Core