VAT Question of the Week (9th June 2016)


13 Jun 2016


Q. My client is a rugby club that has recently purchased a new club house and grounds. It has opted to tax (OTT) the land and property and the pitches are let to other smaller local rugby clubs on a regular weekly basis. Some of these clubs are also charities. Should my client charge VAT on the lets? A. There are several considerations to look at here. Firstly, the letting of facilities for sport or physical recreation is standard rated regardless of an OTT unless the conditions for exemption are met, either for lets over 24 hours or for a series of sessions. Exemption applies to a single let of sports and physical recreation facilities for a continuous period of over 24 hours to the same person, or, subject to all the following conditions being met, to a let for a series of sessions:

  • The series consists of 10 or more sessions
  • Each session is for the same sport or activity
  • Each session is in the same place. This condition is still met where a different pitch, lane or court is used (or a different number of pitches, courts or lanes) as long as these are at the same establishment)
  • The interval between each session is at least 1 day but not more than 14 days (for an interval to be at least 1 day, 24 hours must elapse between the start of each session). The duration of the sessions may be varied. There is no exception for intervals greater than 14 days through closure of the facility for any reason
  • The series is to be paid for as a whole and there is written evidence to the fact. This must include evidence that payment is to be made in full whether or not the right to use the facility for any specific session is actually exercised. Provision for a refund given by the provider in the event of the unforeseen non-availability of their facility would not affect this condition
  • The facilities are let out to a school club, association or an organisation representing affiliated clubs or constituent associations, such as a local league
  • The person to whom the facilities are let has exclusive use of them during the sessions
However, the exemption is overridden by the fact that your client has OTT on the premises, making the income from the lettings standard rated. On a final note, where the customer is a charity the OTT can be dis-applied in certain circumstances if it is used for a non-business purpose. However, this only applies to grants of buildings or parts of buildings and not to land, so that will not affect the position in this case. We have expert knowledge of the VAT implications for sports club at Croner Tax. We can provide advice both on general compliance and on more complex issues such as the construction of a new club house and the redevelopment of existing facilities. For an initial discussion please call the advice line on 0844 561 8101 to speak to our VAT consultants. We can also provide a written consultancy service at £180 per hour plus VAT. If you would like a quote please email

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