In Netbusters (UK) Ltd v HMRC [2020] TC07915, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed the taxpayer’s appeal finding that a single exempt supply of football and netball pitches was made.

  • Netbusters organised competitive football and netball leagues and supplied pitches which it had hired from third parties for these league matches to be played on.
  • Following the Goals Soccer Centres plc v HMRC (TC 02253) decision and publication of Revenue & Customs Brief 8 (2014), Netbusters submitted a claim for over-declared output VAT of £414,622 on the basis that its supplies were:
    • Partly exempt (the supply of the pitch or court) and
    • Partly taxable (the supply of league management services).
  • Netbusters also appealed against assessments totalling £218,542.

Group 1, Schedule 9 of VATA 1994 exempts the grant of any interest in or right over land or of any licence to occupy land, subject to a number of exceptions.

The FTT allowed the appeal, finding that:

  • Netbusters made a single supply to its customers: the pitch hire provided by Netbusters went hand-in-hand with participation in one of the leagues organised.
    • This differentiated it from the Goals Soccer Centres decision where two separate supplies were made.
  • The nature of Netbusters’ single supply was the granting of interests in, rights over or licenses to occupy land: an exempt supply.

Useful guides on this topic

Land & Property VAT
An outline of the VAT treatment of some of the more common supplies of land and property.

Mixed supplies: Single or multiple supply?
Where a business supplies mixed services it is important to establish whether this is a single supply or multiple supplies if different VAT rates may apply.

Opting to tax land and property
What is an option to tax? What do I need to do to opt to tax? What happens if I buy an opted property?

Partial exemption & input VAT
How do you calculate the amount of input tax you can recover under the VAT partial exemption rules? What are the de minimis rules?

External links

Netbusters (UK) Ltd v HMRC [2020] TC07915