The British Horseracing Board today welcomed the Treasur?_x0019_s agreement to renew the valuable VAT Registration Scheme for Racehorse Owners following its review by Customs and Excise.
In confirming that the Scheme will continue unchanged in structure at least until a further review by Customs in 2005, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Healey, said that he recognised the importance to Racing of a scheme which, by regarding racehorse owners who generate sponsorship and other business income as taxable businesses, enables them to recover the VAT they incur on the goods and services which they purchase in connection with Racing. The further review in three years’ time will take account of the wider impact of the tax system on racehorse owners, including recent reforms to betting taxation.
While the Scheme’s structure will not be changed, the Treasury has invited BHB to participate in immediate discussions with Customs about tightening up on compliance with the existing rules, including those governing the securing and maintenance of sponsorship income.
Lord Donoughue, Chairman of BHB’s VAT Registration Working Group, said: “I am delighted that BHB’s highly professional contribution to the review has been rewarded with the Government’s very welcome decision in support of a key British industry. The support my Group received from industry bodies and professional experts ensured that we made a very cogent case for the Scheme’s retention.”
BHB Secretary-General Tristram Ricketts added: “This is a great Christmas present for the Racing and Breeding industry and we are very grateful to Lord Donoughue and his colleagues for masterminding the industry’s input to the review. Customs’ desire to tighten up on compliance with the rules is consistent with BHB’s own initiatives, which the Treasury has warmly welcomed, to promote a more businesslike approach towards racehorse ownership generally. We look forward to participating in the process.”