European Commission review of reduced VAT rates

Fri, 04/01/2013
Key issues: 
  • VAT legislation emanates from the EU and provides the framework within which the UK must operate. The EU VAT Directive makes a number of provisions directly applicable to sport, such as certain exemptions for the construction of sporting infrastructure and reduced rates for admission to sporting events and the use of sports facilities. Unfortunately, the UK does not take advantage of all of these provisions at present.
  • This consultation is a first step in the process of reviewing reduced VAT rates to establish whether they act as an obstacle to the internal market, have any distortive effects or conflict with arrangements in other policy areas. If any of the reduced rates are found to have any of the negative impacts outlined above, the EU may look to amend the VAT Directive and abolish any such derogations. The sports movement in the UK and Europe should seek to defend these exemptions and reduced rates moving forward.
Relevant for: 
  • National governing bodies, sports clubs, proprietors of sports facilites and any other stakeholders engaged with VAT and sport.
How to reply: 
  • Although this consultation does not specifically address reduced rates related to sport, it would be beneficial from a sporting standpoint for the Commission to receive general submissions defending the existing reduced rates for sport and highlighting that they do not have a negative economic or political impact. It would also be important to highlight that these reduced rates actually are of great benefit to sport and wider society by lowering costs for participants and sports bodies alike.  
  • You will find attached the Alliance's response to the Commission's VAT Green Paper from last year which provides some more useful information on the topic, as well as a similar paper produced by the European Olympic Committees.  
Green Paper Future of VAT.pdf630.32 KB
Reponse EOC EU Office VAT (May 2011).pdf197.91 KB

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