Golf tax group formed22nd August, 2012 by Alistair Dunsmuir
England Golf and the UK Golf Course Owners Association (UKGCOA) have formed a joint taxation working group that aims to represent all golf clubs in England. The aim of it is to achieve a ‘fairer tax system’ for golf clubs.
The working group has been set up to consider and discuss the options to obtain an equitable taxation system for golf facilities irrespective of their ownership status. It will be chaired by David Croxton, the owner of Cold Ashby Golf Club.
The Association of Golf Course Owners (AGCO) has been fighting to achieve a similar result for several years, however it solely represents proprietary golf clubs. At the same time, private members’ clubs, such as Chipping Sodbury and Bridport & West Dorset, have taken HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to court over alleged tax inequalities.
Croxton said: “Current EU directives lead to VAT being applied differently to proprietary clubs and private members’ clubs and, as a result, these directives are being challenged by various parties in the industry. In order to reach the best outcome and establish a constructive dialogue with government decision-makers, we believe that all sectors of golf club ownership should be represented on the working group.”
The working group includes proprietary club owners and managers together with representatives of England Golf, including the chief executive, John Petrie. “It will be an inclusive group and involve others able to contribute expertise to taxation challenges facing golf,” said a spokesman.
Jerry Kilby, executive director of UKGCOA, said: “We are delighted to support this initiative and thank England Golf for the opportunity to contribute. We believe it is important the golf industry present a united front when addressing critical issues, particularly those that have legal and financial implications. A collaborative approach is more likely to realise the outcome best for our game.”
England Golf is also committed to ensuring legal issues highlighted by the Chipping Sodbury versus HMRC case are properly aired.
John Petrie added: “Both the UKGCOA and England Golf agree that by working together with a common objective we are more likely to achieve the desired result of fairer tax for golf. England Golf is best placed in the sport to work on tax related issues with other sports, the Sports and Recreation Alliance and relevant government departments. There is a much better chance of achieving a fairer tax status by working with the whole sporting sector, than by golf seeking to be considered a special case. This is a great example when golf’s governing body and the representative organisation for golf course proprietors can help bring about benefits to the industry as a whole.”