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Football matches are exceptional occasions for businesses to celebrate wins with their own team or treat loyal customers and clients. Whether a firm is entertaining those who hold accounts with them or those who are listed on their payroll, a common question that crops up is “do football tickets have VAT?”

Season tickets and prices for corporate boxes at football matches are expensive, so it is understandable that many businesses are keen to assess whether tax can be claimed back on an annual return. There are specific rules regarding tax and entertaining established by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), leading many firms to seek out expert advice from a qualified accountant.

If you’re planning to take your employees or clients to watch a South Yorkshire team like Rotherham United or Doncaster Rovers soon, read on for more information.

VAT charges

When tickets are bought for a football match, they carry the standard 20 per cent VAT rate that was established in 2011. To encourage attendance at theatres, museums, concerts and other amusements, last year, the UK government temporarily reduced the standard rate of VAT for event from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, but made it clear that admissions to sporting fixtures like football matches were exempt from this allowance.

However, whether you can claim back this tax will depend on the type of entertaining your firm is engaged in.

Understanding business entertainment rules

HMRC states that business entertainment must be provided free to those who are not employed by a firm. All hospitality can be considered entertainment, including supplying accommodation, food and drink, using capital assets to entertain or providing venue tickets for events.

What if you’re entertaining your employees?

Entertaining staff can be treated as an allowable expense or be classed as “benefit in kind”. However, employee entertaining rules are complicated, and depend on multiple factors, including the kind of entertainment involved. For instance, a yearly staff party may be allowable regarding Corporation Tax, providing that less than £150 per person was spent on specified items.

Corporate boxes

As for corporate boxes at football matches, whether VAT can be claimed depends on their use. If a firm buys up two corporate box tickets and entertains a client with them, VAT is non-recoverable, as it is classed as business entertainment. However, if employees are entertained, it can be claimed back as an allowable expense under corporation tax rules.

Expert accounting on your side

At Adaptive Accountancy, we understand that the ins and out of VAT can seem complicated. As a result, we offer specialist advice whenever you need it and always explain accountancy processes in simple terms. When you need to know the answer to an urgent tax question, you can count on us.

Unlike many accountancy services in South Yorkshire, Adaptive Accountancy works to your schedule. Operating out of regular office hours, you’ll find assistance from us is always available, right when you need it.

If you have concerns regarding VAT or another important accountancy issue, get in touch today for expert guidance.

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