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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

Entity to be registered: clubs and associations: employees' social clubs and canteens

Separate treatment for VAT of a club or canteen is to be allowed when it is established that it exists independently and is controlled and managed by a committee appointed by the membership. This applies even if the club or canteen receives a subsidy from the employer, either as

  • direct aid, or
  • indirectly, in the form of free accommodation, heating or lighting.

Any officers of the club or canteen who are nominated by the employer are only regarded as controlling the club or canteen on the employer’s behalf if they have the power to veto committee decisions.

Verification of the club’s status may be made by calling for copies of the constitution, rules and the articles and memoranda of association. The terms and details of these documents will spell out the way the club is organised and who is entitled to do what and to what property. This should allow you to make an informed decision about what sort of club it is.

These social clubs and canteens will generally fall within the terms of section 46(2) of the VAT Act 1994 and should be registered in the name of the club or canteen under status ‘7’ (other).