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HMRC internal manual

VAT Trade Unions and Professional Bodies

HM Revenue & Customs
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Treatment of particular types of supply by Group 9 bodies

Supplies of sporting services by Group 9 bodies to their members

In April 1994, a new item was added to “Group 10” of “Schedule 9” to the “VAT Act 1994”. This provided for exemption for:

  1. The supply by a non-profit-making body to an individual, except, where the body operates a membership scheme, an individual who is not a member, of services closely linked with and essential to sport or physical education in which the individual is taking part.

Any organisation that qualifies for exemption under “Group 9” of “Schedule 9” will have satisfied the non-profit-making criterion for “Item 3” of “Group 10” and is potentially able to exempt any sporting services supplied to its members, provided that the other criteria of “Item 3” of “Group 10” are met. Notice 701/45: Sport contains fuller guidance on this.

Qualifying exempt fund-raising events

“Item 2” of “Group 12” of “Schedule 9” to the “VAT Act 1994” provides for exemption for:

the supply of goods and services by a qualifying body in connection with an event -

(a) that is organised exclusively for the body’s own benefit, 
(b) whose primary purpose is the raising of money, and 
(c) that is promoted as being primarily for the raising of money.

“Note (3)” continues:

(3) For the purposes of this Group “qualifying body” means-

(a) any non-profit making organisation mentioned in Item 1 of Group 9 ...

VTUPB3000 gives guidance on whether a body meets the criteria of “Item 1” of “Group 9”. Other aspects of the “Group 12” exemption are the responsibility of Charities - Policy.

Supplies to non-members

Exemption under “Item 1” of “Group 9” only covers supplies made by organisations to their members. Supplies made to non-members will be standard-rated unless they fall within another group of the exemption schedule or one of the groups within the zero rating schedule.

Provision of hospitality

Meals, hotel accommodation and other hospitality provided to members for no charge other than the subscription will be a standard-rated supply unless they are “referable to the aims” of a “Group 9” organisation, in which case they can be treated as exempt. A due proportion of the subscription will therefore need to be treated as standard-rated or exempt as appropriate. This hospitality is not business entertainment because consideration is provided in the form of the subscription. Input tax will therefore be deductible in accordance with the normal rules when the supply is standard-rated.

Free hospitality provided to non-members constitutes business entertainment and input tax incurred will not be deductible.

The hospitality provision is equally applicable to other clubs, associations and organisations that do not qualify for exemption under “Group 9”. All of the rules concerning

  • “deemed business” under sections “94(2)” of the “VAT Act 1994”, and
  • what supplies constitute benefits to members

apply to “Group 9” organisations as they do to any other club or association. If your query does not involve the possible exemption of supplies to the membership under “Group 9”, you should therefore refer to VAT Guidance VBNB60000 in the first instance.