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VAT ON SAILING LESSONS

Wednesday July 14th, 2010
DUTCH VICTORY IN COURT BATTLE OVER VAT ON SAILING LESSONS

Sailing students in Holland are thrilled to receive the news that the Zuidlaardermeer Sailing School and HISWA Holland Marine Industry have won a court battle to slash the VAT charged for sailing lessons. Now, instead of charging 19% VAT, sailing schools will charge only 6%. The move has brought the tax in line with all other sports in the country.

Until now the Dutch Tax Authorities had claimed that the higher rate was justified because inspection of water-sports was more difficult as they take place in public places rather than a building or sports facility.

Geert Dijks, HISWA manager public affairs said of the good news, 'This argument was not in line with the principle of stimulating sports... Moreover, sailing is a traditional Dutch sport as well as an Olympic sport. It was simply unacceptable that parents who wanted their children to have a week of sailing lessons had to pay so much more VAT than for any other form of sports camp.'

However the reduced rate is only appropriate under specific conditions and only sailing lessons taking place in a demarcated sailing area, which will now be recognised as a designated 'sports facility,' will be eligible for the reduced rate.

A good decision all the same.
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