Maintaining leisure facilities through and after COVID-19 – the VAT perspective
Centurion VAT are sharing an interesting piece from our legal contacts in Geldards highlighting areas for Local Authorities and Leisure Trusts to consider. The Geldards article can be found here.
Should the worst case arise and additional cross funding support come into play then it would be important not to ignore the VAT implications of any such arrangements. The move of leisure provision from local authorities into either commercial partners or charitable leisure trust bodies, has been largely predicated on the benefits of differing VAT implications applying to service provision in this area. The whole VAT perspective has now moved on as a result of the Ealing Borough Council case which effectively gives the option to a local authority body to access the VAT Exemptions in Leisure provision which would formerly have been denied to them.
Whilst the legal sector are rightly highlighting contractual issues, procurement processes and the like – it would be vital for any local authority or leisure trust to also factor in the wider VAT implications of any changes to the payments arrangements or indeed - should a local authority revisit the whole financial viability question - whether the leisure provision revert to one in-house or new external provider be considered.
Having advised on many such viability reviews and transfers of leisure provision from our local authority clients this is an issue where you can certainly access our expertise at Centurion very quickly should critical decision making points arise.
Contact Louise Gray or Liz Maher in our Public Sector VAT team directly on 01633 415390 or through firstname.lastname@example.org if your organisation needs support on such issues promptly.
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