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Is Polo club membership, match fees and pitch use VAT exempt

Resolved Question:

Is Polo club membership, match fees and pitch use VAT exempt as per notice 701/45: sport?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me to assist you.
Match fees are listed as an exemption. The following are considered to be supplies closely linked with and essential to sport or physical education:
playing, competing, refereeing, umpiring, judging, coaching or training (but not attending as a spectator or involvement in administration)
use of changing rooms, showers and playing equipment together with storage of equipment essential to the sporting activity
match fees charged by an eligible body for use of the playing facilities
mooring, hangarage and use of workshop facilities (but not the use of parts, or the services of an engineer)
A share of pitch hire is not exempt. Membership subscriptions and joining fees covering active participation in sport are exempt. The membership fee may have other items that are covered in it so the club would need to look at what is involved in the membership and may need to apportion the fees.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Is that the same for all polo clubs or just certain types?

Expert:  TaxRobin replied 1 year ago.
The list includes bike polo and equestrian.
The section 3.2 of the notice explains the qualifications for a sports exemption.
Anytime a group is unsure of their activity, they should contact HMRC Helpline directly and request a determination.
In general it is for sporting activity.
Your organisation is an eligible body when:
it is non-profit making
its constitution includes a non-distribution clause or limits any distribution of profits or surpluses to
another non-profit making club or
its members on winding up or dissolution
it actually uses all profits or surpluses from its playing activities to maintain or improve the related facilities or for the purposes of a non-profit making body
it is not subject to commercial influence nor part of a wider commercial undertaking
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So a club that makes a profit is not exempt for anything?

Expert:  TaxRobin replied 1 year ago.
There are differences for non profit clubs and for profit.
If the club was established with a purpose, intention or motive which exclude distribution of profit/surplus by overt or covert means to those with a financial interest in it, including if a corporate body its members then you will know it is a non profit.
As a sporting club it is treated as a company for tax purposes, so your club may have to pay Corporation Tax on any income or capital gains that don’t qualify for tax relief. That would not change the sporting activity VAT exemption.
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