NETHERLANDS: VAT Decree on the giving of the opportunity to sport

By Decree of 15 February 2005 (CPP2004/2318) the Netherlands tax authorities have explained the application of the special VAT regime for the giving of the opportunity to sport. Under this regime such services are subject to the reduced VAT rate of 6% (by their inclusion in various posts of Tabel I to the Netherlands VAT Act). According to the Decree e.g. the following sports activities are eligible for the reduced rate: swimming, carting, aerobic, fitness, competitive dancing (not recreational dancing). These sport activities should generally take place in a sports accommodation, however horse riding in the woods also qualifies. Skate lessons are subject to the reduced rate, unless the lessons are given on public roads (then the standard VAT rate of 19% applies). Sky diving is subject to the general VAT rate.

A distinction needs to be made between the renting out of an accommodation (e.g. a tennis hall) and the exploitation of a sports accommodation (e.g. a golf or bowling course). Renting out of an accommodation is in principle exempt from VAT, but often with an option for applying VAT. The services of sports association are exempt from VAT. There are also specific rules for recreational services.