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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

HM Revenue & Customs
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Entity to be registered: clubs and associations: questionnaire to establish independence of sections, branches and so on: introduction

The degree of independence from the parent organisation that a subsidiary entity enjoys varies from case to case. Consequently, it is very difficult to define in general terms the point at which such a subsidiary entity does become an independent trading entity. Obtaining the answers to the following questions should help you to reach a reasonably well-informed conclusion on the matter.

This list of questions is by no means exhaustive and you should ask any further questions which might seem relevant at the time. You should not accept vague and non-committal answers to these questions. When you do get such answers, you should pursue the matter until you are happy that the question has been answered.

It is important that you treat any case that you pursue as if it is going to the First Tier Tribunal and that you attempt to get all the information you need to defend your position before at the first sitting if at all possible. If you have to go back for a second visit to get further information, you will probably lose the initiative.

None of the points raised by these questions are, of themselves, conclusive evidence that a sub club is, or is not an independent entity. An overall view must be taken of the situation before you come to a conclusion. The aim of these questions, on a very basic level, is to establish whether the activities are run, as a matter of fact, as one integrated business (even if it comprises several different activities) or whether the activities in question are being run separately but with common interests.