Charity Resources: A Trilogy of… Lots?

‘I may not have gone where I intended to go,
but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.’

‘I love deadlines.
I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.’


I am a fan of Douglas Adams.

He was a great author, writer, humorist, and all round good egg.

So in honour, of Douglas Adams famous Trilogy in Five Parts, I’m starting my own trilogy, on Charity Resources.

And whilst it might  not be as funny as Hitchhikers, it does share a certain ambiguous numeracy. In that I’ve no idea how many there will be. 42 might be appropriate?

But, following Douglas Adam’s lead, I’m going to start at the beginning. And hope that this won’t be regarded as a bad move.

My first Charity Resource page is on charity law.

I hope this series will be helpful.

But as the great man once said:

“You live and learn.
At any rate, you live.”


GAAR! Anti tax-avoidance rules almost here…


No, not the sound of tax lawyers dropping textbooks on their toes.

Rather, it is the new General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR).

The Government has now published a draft Finance Bill 2013 for consultation. The Bill will include a general measure to counteract abusive tax avoidance arrangements.

The GAAR will apply to income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, petroleum revenue tax, stamp duty land tax and annual residential property tax with effect from 1 April 2013.

These schemes have been suggested for a while.

The problem is that accountants and tax lawyers spend their professional lives picking out the loop holes for their wealthy clients to take advantage off. Currently this ‘tax avoidance’ is legal and above-board

However, if the avoidance is taken too far, using artificial and abusive tax avoidance schemes, it can tip into ‘tax evasion’ which is a criminal offence.

The Government announced in its Budget 2012 that it had accepted the recommendation of the independent study by Graham Aaronson QC which had suggested the introduction of the GAAR.

So perhaps it will also be the sound tax avoiders make when caught.

On reflection, that’s not such a bad sound after all.


Charity tax: a cheat sheet…

Charity taxation proving too taxing? Fear not, help is at hand.

The Charity Tax Group has just published its 2nd edition of their ‘Charity Tax Map‘, which a foreword by Treasury Minister for Charities, Sajid Javid MP calls “a detailed and comprehensive review of taxes, exemptions and reliefs applicable to charities“.

The CTM is a full and detailed exploration of the tax system for the charity sector, and has so far proved to be a very useful reference document for this oft-confusing area.

The 2nd edition of the CTG covers VAT, import duties, corporation tax, capital gains tax, includes sections on stamp duty, business rates, council tax, PAYE and income tax, and overseas taxes.  It identifies the various tax reliefs available to charities, and helps trustees know what they need to know, and when to take professional advice.

It also includes new sections on recent changes such as the cost-sharing group exemption, the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, VAT on protected buildings and bulk postal mailing, and other updates on direct and indirect taxes.

The Updated Charity Tax Map Matrix, remains a useful addition. The matrix provides an indication of the taxes and reliefs that might be relevant for particular types of activities, and is a useful signposting tool to help charities assess their potential tax position.

Download your copy, or visit the Charity Tax Group website.

For more information, do contact me: andrewkmackay[at] or @BetterCharity.

You might also be interested in posts on Charity Banking and Gift Aid reclaim.