Goals sees VAT wrangle rumble on

FIVE-a-side football pitch group Goals Soccer Centres yesterday warned it is yet to resolve a row over the rate of VAT it has to pay that could cost it £650,000 in lost profits each year.

The group said HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has confirmed block bookings of pitches made by teams to fulfil their league fixtures should be treated as standard rated for VAT – which Goals disputes.

League bookings account for about a third of revenues and Goals said that has been advised they should be tax-exempt, as they were in the past, and is appealing HMRC’s decision.

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The warning came as Goals reported overall sales for the six months to June were in line with management expectations with like for like sales up three per cent.

Goal said the appeals process could take nine months and until the position is confirmed it has decided to take a charge, which will affect both sales and profits.

The firm, which has 42 sites, added that trading has been steady recently and its expansion plans are on track with four new centres set to open during the year.

Goals Hull opened in May and initial trading is said to be satisfactory.