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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

Entity to be registered: clubs and associations: armed services messes

Such messes are not normally incorporated and are usually members’ clubs. Armed services’ messes will generally fall within the terms of section 46(3) of the VAT Act 1994.

As there is no hard-and-fast rule regarding the status of service messes, where you have doubts about the status, you should call for copies of the constitution, rules, articles and memoranda of association and any certificates of registration under any Acts of Parliament. 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.

However, unless there is evidence to show that we should register them differently, they should be registered in the name of the mess or club under Status ‘7’ (other).