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Indirect tax

VAT is complicated for sports businesses to administer and there continues to be significant disagreement with HMRC regarding how certain transactions should be treated, highlighted by an increase in VAT case law in sport. Deloitte has been involved in a number of these cases and its Sports Business Group is actively involved in discussions with Government on key sector issues.

The solutions that our clients develop to host major events, maximise sponsorship, access world-class players and undertake property developments are highly sophisticated. The differing VAT status of the entities involved and the potential uncertainty regarding transaction classification means that without careful planning, significant and unexpected VAT costs can arise.

Smaller sports clubs and other organisations suffer considerable VAT costs because many of their activities are classified as non-business. This prevents them from recovering much of the VAT they incur.

Our specific areas of expertise include:

  • VAT litigation in respect of the treatment of players’ agents’ fees;
  • advising on all VAT aspects of hosting international and major events;
  • SPV structures and tri-partite agreements for the delivery of sponsorship commitments and other initiatives;
  • structuring advice on property transactions and developments to create VAT efficient solutions that meet stakeholder commitments and manage mixed use;
  • mitigating VAT costs for charitable sports organisations and developing suitable business/non-business methodologies; and
  • formulating appropriate VAT compliance strategies and methodologies.

Our clients

Indirect tax clients in sport include:

  • Premier League football clubs
  • National Governing bodies
  • Non departmental public bodies
  • Foreign organisations attending the UK for particular sporting events

Useful links

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  • Research and publications
  • Case studies
  • Submit a request for proposal
  • Contact us

Case study

New stadium projects for a number of Premier League football clubs.


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