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Acting performance - Zero rated?

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I have a client who I do VAT bookkeeping for.  He has asked if his Wrestling refereeing should be VAT'able, as his mate has told him it should be zero rated as it's an acting performance, with a predetermined result, so not a sporting event??

Can anyone shed any light on this please, as I can only find references to sporting referees being required to charge their services and this being charged at the standard rate of VAT. 

Neither can I find anything that would suggest a Performer would be zero rated, as I wouldn't class his performance in this context as being part of a cultural education??

Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated - thanks

Replies (6)

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By Les Howard
05th Apr 2019 11:07

Everything is standard rated for VAT unless it is specifically excluded.
Supplying services of refereeing does fall within the sports exemption. See HMRC Notice 701/45. But do check that he meets the eligibility criteria, and make of note of it.
(Where did you find that refereeing is standard rate?)

Thanks (1)
Replying to leshoward:
By spidersong
05th Apr 2019 13:21

I'd find that refereeing is standard rated from your first line Les.
It's only going to be exempt if provided by an eligible body and it sound like the client is providing their services freelance and not as an eligible body, so if they're above the limit I'd expect them to be charging VAT, same as any freelance referee (or actor).
Also I'd assume that the supply is made to the venue or the promoter of the match rather than to any individuals taking part, so I'd be very surprised if exemption was in play.

Thanks (1)
By paul.benny
05th Apr 2019 14:26

Of course, it's only relevant if your client is VAT registered.

I'm not familiar with the commercial arrangements here, but I would assume that your client's customers are VAT-registered themselves. So the whole question may be academic.

Thanks (1)
By WoodyP
05th Apr 2019 21:49

Thanks all.
This was the ruling I found about his referee'ing;-
"The following are considered to be supplies closely linked with and essential to sport or physical education:
•playing, competing, refereeing,
What if I am a self-employed referee and registered for VAT?
Your supply is not exempt from VAT, because you are not an eligible body "

He is a VAT registered sole trader, that works in the Wrestling industry, but his main source of income comes from the supply of goods, not services.

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By WhichTyler
06th Apr 2019 08:13

What every one above says, plus his mate doesn't know what he is talking about...

Thanks (4)
By towat
12th Apr 2019 11:21

Are you saying that the results of wrestling matches are somehow fixed?

Hope you got a good lawyer guy.

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