In United Grand Lodge of England v HMRC [2021] TC08250, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) found that membership fees charged to Freemasons were not exempt from VAT.

The Principal VAT Directive (PVD) and Group 9, Schedule 9, VATA 1994 exempt subscriptions from VAT where they relate to certain bodies with specific aims.

In the case of UGLE, the supply of its Services to members would be exempt from VAT if:

This is the second time the FTT has considered UGLE’s aims in a VAT context.

The FTT rejected UGLE’s appeal in respect of 2010 to 2018, finding that:

As the provision of Relief was a main aim that was partly non-philanthropic, the services supplied by UGLE to its members were not exempt from VAT.

Useful guides on this topic

Appeals: VAT
How do I appeal an HMRC decision?  How do I appeal a penalty?  How can I request a Statutory Review? 

Goods or services for VAT?
What are goods and what are services for VAT? The answer may have an impact on the time of supply, the place of supply and in some cases the rate of the supply. The answer is not always as straightforward as it may seem.

Reclaims and unjust enrichment
When can VAT reclaims be made? What are the time limits? What is unjust enrichment? Why might unjust enrichment prevent HMRC making VAT repayments? 

External link

United Grand Lodge of England v HMRC [2021] TC08250

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