As provided for by our European VAT agreements, the supply of sporting services is exempt from VAT when supplied by non-profit making organisations such as sports and leisure trusts.
However this VAT exemption applies only to sporting services and cannot extend to the use of saunas, steam rooms, or to season tickets which entitle customers to use both sports and other, non-sporting, facilities. Such supplies have been subject to VAT since 1973 when the tax was introduced.
HM Revenue and Customs is aware that a number of organisations have been applying the VAT rules in this area incorrectly, and published Revenue and Customs Brief 50/07 in July 2007 to clarify the matter. However, this brief did not change any of the VAT rules, nor did it impose VAT on supplies that were properly exempt from VAT.