V16.1047 Claims by local authorities for overpaid VAT on supplies of sporting services
Information Sheet 8/17, December 2017
1. Purpose of this information sheet
1.1 What this information is about
Following the decision of the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) in London Borough of Ealing, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) accepts that certain supplies of sporting services made by local authorities can be treated as exempt from VAT.
1.2 Why has this information sheet been produced
The claims relate to VAT incorrectly charged by local authorities on supplies of closely linked and essential services to sport to individuals taking part in that sport. This information sheet highlights certain issues which apply equally to claims submitted before or after the CJEU's decision in London borough of Ealing, which was released on 13 July 2017. This information sheet should be read with RCB/6/17 (Division V16.3) VAT – treatment of sports facilities by local councils.
1.3 Who this information sheet is for
The London Borough of Ealing decision only concerns local authorities and other public bodies directly providing sports facilities to paying members of the public as part of their business activities. It doesn't apply to other bodies such as trusts or companies under contracting out arrangements, as they're already eligible for exemption if they're non-profit-making bodies and meet the other criteria set out in VAT Notice 701/45 “Sport”. This information sheet should be read by any local authority that has already made a claim for overpaid VAT to HMRC, or is now considering making a claim.