The future of the UK Chess Challenge

As many chess players will be aware, the organiser of the UK Chess Challenge, Mike Basman (right), has been declared bankrupt on account of his debt of £300K to HMRC for unpaid VAT.

The UKCC has been operating for 20 years and has never charged VAT on entry fees, despite the turnover exceeding the VAT threshold.

The chess world seems split over their reaction to Mike’s predicament.   Clearly, he has been errant in not checking if VAT was chargeable and did not employ an accountant (who would, almost certainly, have advised him that it was).   There is some sympathy for Mike who has introduced chess to thousands of children over the years.   Whether the UKCC can continue is in doubt.   It may need to be re-badged and almost certainly Mike Basman will not be taking a leading role.

A petition has been organised to try and get chess (or junior chess at least) exempted from VAT.   All physical sports are exempt, but ‘mind sports’ are not.

2 thoughts on “The future of the UK Chess Challenge
  1. While agreeing that Chess should receive an equivalent VAT status as physical sports, the petition appears also to be asking for a "get out of jail free card" for 2 decades of deliberate UKCC non-compliance with VAT regulations. (Some might call this "tax-evasion".)

    While applauding the achievements of UKCC in promoting chess, I don't support this. So I won't be signing.

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