In Edgbaston Golf Club Limited v HMRC [2018] TC06430, the First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) dismissed the golf club’s Fleming claim. It could not be said to have been made to HMRC on time as it was sent to the wrong email address.

Following the Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club CJEU decision, green fees charged to non-members of not for profit golf clubs were found to be exempt under the sports exemption in the same way that members green fees were.

  • Edgbaston golf club prepared a VAT Fleming claim in relation to green fees charged to non-members.
  • The claim was submitted by the advisor the day before the 1 April 2009 deadline for Fleming claims.
  • The claim was submitted to HMRC (twice) by email, but the email was sent to an address and not
  • After several years of review and discussions, HMRC rejected the claim.
  • The golf club appealed.

The FTT found for HMRC:

  • The claim has to be ‘made in writing to the Commissioners’.
  • It was not enough to prove that the claim had been prepared and submitted by email somewhere: it had to be made to the Commissioners.
  • The incorrect email address was used and this means the claim had clearly not been made to the Commissioners by the deadline of 1 April 2009.
  • This is the same as if a written claim had been posted before the deadline, but the wrong address had been used on the envelope. The claim would never get to the Commissioners.
  • Contrast this to where the postal claim had been made to the correct address before the deadline, but never received by HMRC, if it can be shown that the address was correct, that is sufficient to show that the claim had been made to the Commissioners.

As the email address was incorrect, the claim had not been made and the appeal was dismissed.

Planning point:

The claim was made under the current wording of the law. When making any claim (VAT or otherwise), by email, ensure that the correct email is used. In particular, note that most HMRC email addresses include ‘.gsi’. Failure to use the correct email address may result in a missed claim deadline.


Reclaims and unjust enrichment

Green fees (not-for-profit clubs) VAT

External link: Edgbaston Golf Club Limited v HMRC [2018] TC06430


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