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Entries in value added tax (2)


Polish Federation Gets VAT Reduction for Clubs

Thanks to the proactive efforts of the Polish Fitness Association of Employers (PFAE), fitness clubs in the country can apply for and get a VAT (value added tax) reduction. Robert Kaminski, CEO of PFAE, announced the news at IHRSA’s annual Global Federations Meeting, which was held last month at IHRSA 2015 in Los Angeles.

In autumn 2014, PFAE carried out a lobbying process aimed at lowering the VAT rate from 23% to 8% for fitness clubs. In order to achieve the goal, a strategy involving legal action and public outreach was employed.

“Several of our members’ clubs took a legal action against the Ministry of Finance,” Kaminski said. “Consequently, we began consultations with the Ministry of Finance. In this part of the process, we received support from one of the leading authorities in the country in the field of tax law – a VAT adviser to the Ministry of Finance.”

In the process, the clubs demonstrated the legal basis for the application of a lowered VAT rate as well as the long-term positive impact on the national budget. At the same time, PFAE carried out an information campaign in the press, highlighting the potential of the development of the fitness market and thus the revenue increase for the national budget.

As a result of PFAE’s campaign, fitness clubs can now apply for a VAT reduction and claim reimbursement for overpaid tax for the past four years. The preferential tax treatment was accorded to the first clubs in Poland in January this year.

“Our Federation has also prepared a special recommendation and an application manual for its members,” Kaminski said.


Spanish health club VAT to increase to 21%

The value added tax rate (VAT) on Spanish health clubs is set to increase from the current level of 8% to a rate of 21%. The Spanish Fitness Industry has expressed concern that this increase will negatively affect the health of Spanish citizens who may stop exercising because of the price increase.  

A recent report by the Sports Council and Mahou San Miguel states that 94% of people whoexercise show improvement to their health. Moreover, the study states, every euro spent on physical activity leads to savings of €2.9 in medical expenses. When Portugal increased VAT on health clubs from 5% to 23%, the Portuguese Association for Health Clubs, AGAP, found that 100,000 people stopped going to health clubs.