Tax Tribunal refers ‘Bridge is a sport’ appeal to European Court

On 14th July the Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber heard the case as to whether bridge should be considered a sport for VAT purposes. The case has been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to ensure that the intention of the EU article which gives tax exemption to sport is properly followed.

Representing the EBU, David Ewart QC argued that the purpose of the legislation to grant VAT exemption was intended not to support only ‘physical activities’ but instead to encourage participation in all activities with social and health benefits. The presiding officials acknowledged that playing bridge provides these benefits, and as there was no legal precedent on which to base the ruling, referred the case to the CJEU for a judgement on the true intent of the legislation.