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.”


The energy-saving (VAT) lightbulb’s blown.

The energy-saving (VAT) lightbulb.

It was good while it lasted, but now it’s blown.

The UK Government had introduced a reduced VAT rate for installing energy-saving materials in buildings that were solely used for a relevant charitable purposes. Unfortunately, that relief is now being withdrawn.

This is likely to mostly affect charities that use village halls or similar buildings. The big switch off will come into effect for materials supplied on and after 1 August 2013.

This not so bright idea was a response to the European Commission’s investigation of the UK’s reduced rate of VAT on the installation of energy-saving materials in residential accommodation and ‘charitable buildings’.

The Commission considered that there was no legal basis for such a reduced rate of VAT. The UK government, to give them their credit, disagreed but has now accepted that the VAT relief should only now apply to housing.

This means that from August 2013 it will not extend to ‘charitable’ buildings which are not housing, to ensure that UK legislation fully complies with EU law.

Which does leave the question hanging.

I wonder just how many civil servants it really took to change this particular VAT light bulb…

For more information, have a look at the HMRC paper, have a read of my Charity Tax Map summary, or contact me: andrewkmackay[at] and @BetterCharity.

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.