Tidal Diamond 328 – HMRC Inspection

Tidal Diamond No. 328

Ref underpaid vat resulting in HMRC Inspection 18th June 2013

Dear Tudor Members

Some years ago TSC registered for vat in order to gain benefit from the partial exemption rules applicable to sports clubs. A view was taken at the time as to which activities were exempt or included for vat purposes and the club has followed this principle since then. This interpretation appeared to be great for the club resulting every quarter in HMRC refunding the club for vat paid after application of the de minimis rule. In essence the following income was thought to be exempt:

  • Membership fees
  • Maintenance fees
  • Compound fees *
  • Hoist fees*
  • And these applicable:
  • Bar / Galley etc…
  • Harbour dues / Mooring fees

We have recently been through a detailed round of vat inspections and following many hours of review, negotiation and re-calculation we have received the final edict from HMRC. I won’t burden you with all the detail as this is a complicated subject, even the vat inspector had to get advice on from an internal expert! In summary we have been underpaying and claiming back vat paid, based on incorrect assumptions. Basically we should have been charging members vat on compound fees and hoist fees and including this in our vat submissions. As a result we now owe HMRC £10,203 from the past four years, plus we are to receive a fine for negligent behaviour. Due to the assistance and help given during the recent inspections and taking account of the difficult situation associated with our previous treasurer, HMRC have decided to suspend the fine which will only be payable if we fail to apply the rules correctly over the coming years.

You will be relieved to know that the overdue £10,203 will be taken from reserves and members will not be asked to pay retrospective vat on their compound and hoist fees. However be warned that 20% vat will be added to these payments in future and please note that this is out of my / the committee’s control, please don’t shoot the messenger.

For those not familiar with the club’s current financial position, the payment of this sum will not put the club in any financial jeopardy, but is of course a great shame as we have many projects where these funds could be put to good use.

Steve Yoxon
Hon Treasurer – Tudor Sailing Club