In HMRCGreenisland Football Club [2018] UKUT 0440, the upper tribunal (UT) overturned the First Tier Tribunal (FTT)'s decision to allow a club to zero-rate construction of a clubhouse. It agreed that no penalties were due.

In its decision, Greenisland Football Club v HMRC [2018] TC06321, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed zero rating on the construction of a clubhouse as the building was for the benefit of the community as a whole.

It found that:

In addition, the FTT found that, even if zero-rating did not apply, in this case GFC would have a Reasonable excuse:

HMRC appealed to the Upper Tribunal (UT).

The UT found that:

On these two grounds, the upper tribunal upheld HMRC’s appeal against the first tier tribunal decision.


In respect of penalties, VAT Notice 708 says that an entity about to engage in such an high-cost commitment should get professional advice. HMRC said that the club should have asked HMRC directly, but that is not what the Notice says. The club did obtain professional advice and followed it. 

The UT agreed that the club had a reasonable excuse and vacated the penalty.

Topical guides

VAT: Land & Property (notes)

VAT: Land & Property (at a glance)

External link

Greenisland Football Club v HMRC [2018] TC06321


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