B5.224 Golf clubs, recreation grounds, holiday camps, social clubs and admission fees
Golf clubs and recreation grounds for members only
A golf club which is a members' club is one where ownership of the club and its assets rests with the general membership who control the club and its dealings. As the typical members' club does not carry on a trade with its members the club is outside the charge to tax on trade profits because it is not carrying on a trade1. Clubs may however be assessable to tax on investment income and capital gains. For more details see B1.440.
Where the club is a proprietary club, that is the ownership of the club rests other than with the general membership, the profit earned from providing goods or services to its members is not exempt from tax2.
Golf clubs open to non-members
A members' club is assessable in respect of profits derived from affording its facilities to non-members. In Fletcher3, the court held that in determining who are club members for mutuality purposes, no single factor is likely to be decisive and no emphasis should be placed on voting rights in the club. This decision was applied in Westbourne Supporters of Glentoran Club4. See also B1.440 as to the trading income of clubs generally. Thus, in Carlisle and Silloth Golf Club5, the club, which was a members' club, was bound under a clause in its lease to admit non-members to play on the golf course on payment of green fees. The
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