Exemption ― sport ― VAT treatment of various sporting services

Produced by Tolley

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Exemption ― sport ― VAT treatment of various sporting services
  • Subscription payments
  • Joining fee
  • Waiting list
  • Lifetime memberships
  • Social and non-playing memberships
  • Social clubs
  • Artisan golf clubs
  • Green fees
  • Leisure trusts
  • More...

Exemption ― sport ― VAT treatment of various sporting services

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marked the end of the Brexit transition / implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time, key transitional arrangements came to an end and significant changes began to take effect across the UK’s VAT and customs regime. This document contains guidance on subjects potentially impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see the Brexit — overview guidance note.

This guidance note provides an overview of the typical sporting services that can be offered to customers taking part in sports and physical recreation. The table below provides an overview of the VAT treatment of sporting services supplied by an eligible body. Other organisations will normally be required to account for VAT on the provision of the sporting services.

Type of serviceVAT treatment of service supplied by an eligible body to an individual
Use of changing rooms, showers, locker hire, use of equipmentExempt
Provisions of courts, pitches, green fees and other playing areasExempt
Use of multi-sport playing facilitiesExempt
Provision of referees, umpires, judges and coaching servicesExempt (excludes supplies provided by self-employed personnel)
Membership subscription fees and joining fees associated to the provision of actual sporting servicesExempt (see below)
Social or non-playing membershipsStandard-rated
Fee to be included on a waiting listExempt or standard-rated (see below)
Admission charged to spectatorsStandard-rated
Provision of residential accommodationStandard-rated unless it can be exempted as a supply of land (see the Overview of VAT and property issues and Provision of hotel and holiday accommodation guidance notes)
Provision of transport Standard-rated unless this qualifies for zero-rating as passenger transport (see the Place of supply of services ― passenger transport guidance note)
Supply of catering, bars, social functions and gaming machinesStandard-rated
Payment of match fees to use playing facilitiesExempt (see below)
Match fees that cover catering and transportation servicesStandard-rated (unless these can be zero-rated under other provisions)
Hangarage, mooring and use of workshops (excludes parts and

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