In Leicester City Council v HMRC [2021] TC8060, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) dismissed the Council's appeal that a VAT claim was an amendment to an earlier claim.  The claim was considered a new claim and thus was made out of time.

  • The Council became aware in 2008/2009 that the supply of Sports Facilities by councils may not be liable to VAT.
  • On 25 March 2009, the Council wrote to HMRC to reclaim output tax it believed had been over-declared on sports and leisure facilities from 1973 to November 1996 totalling £3.3 million.
  • The claim was rejected by HMRC.
  • Between 2009 – 2017, the Council had submitted several catch-up claims some of which related to its golf course and sports parks income.
  • In 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed the validity of such sports claims.
  • HMRC accepted Leicester Council’s 2017 claim but limited the claims to four years as earlier years were Out of time.
  • The Council argued that the claim was an amendment to an existing claim rather than a new claim, hence was not made out of time for earlier years, and Appealed to the FTT.
  • The FTT held that the 2017 claim was the first time the Council had mentioned golf and sports parks, so even though some of the earlier claims had been sporting related, the connection was not close enough to be considered an amendment to the existing claim.

The appeal was dismissed.

Useful guides on this topic

Sports and physical recreation
When does the VAT exemption apply to sport? What is an eligible body for the VAT exemption? What is a sport?

Time limits for making claims & adjustments
What is the time limit for making a claim for a tax refund? What is the time limit for HMRC to make an assessment?

Time limits for tax assessments, claims and refunds
What are the time limits for claiming a tax refund? How far can HMRC go back and raise an assessment? How many years back can a taxpayer appeal? What are the time limits for correcting a tax return?

How to appeal an HMRC decision
Disagree with a HMRC decision? How to appeal, what type of decision can you appeal, what are your different options when you disagree with HMRC? What are the key steps in making an appeal?

External links

Leicester City Council v HMRC [2021] TC8060


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