Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra v Revenue and Customs Commissioners (2006) EWCA Civ 1281

November 2006

Live event industry

However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Revenue – in another case they managed to get the Court of Appeal to agree that the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra should be stripped of its cultural exemption for VAT on ticket sales – because a salaried MD sat on the board of trustees – an a wholly negative and unsatisfactory decision for the cultural and creative industries and indeed the live music industry in the UK. The Court held that as the affairs of orchestra were managed by a managing director who was paid a salary to administer the affairs of the Orchestra and was a member of the Board of Directors: this meant that the orchestra’s business was not managed and administered on a voluntary basis for the purposes of Note 2 to items 1 and 2 inGroup 13 of Schedule 9 to the Value Added Tax Act 1994. Lloyd LJ said that managing director’s remuneration and participation in decision making process of the orchestra made it impossible to say that the management and administration of the orchestra was conducted on an essentially voluntary basis. The Independent 19 October 2006.  

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