The hire of a swimming pool is treated differently from a simple licence to occupy land. While the letting of land is usually VAT exempt, there are different rules for the admission to and use of swimming facilities.
The use of a swimming pool could, potentially, be categorised in a number of different ways:-
- The use of sports facilities
- Pure equipment hire
- The supply of education
- Event admission; or
- A licence to occupy land and buildings
Swimming lessons will qualify as education, but the use of a swimming pool without instruction, even where supervision or lifeguards are present, does not qualify as education. Swimming lessons are treated in the same way as adult education.
Admission to a swimming pool or the hire of the whole pool to a third party (e.g. swimming club) is treated as shown below.
It is important to note that the operation of the pool by a subsidiary company is likely to have a different treatment (see below), as the company is unlikely to qualify as an “eligible body”.
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