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Tax, VAT & Working With Corporates Bill Lewis 6 December 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Tax, VAT & Working With Corporates Bill Lewis 6 December 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tax, VAT & Working With Corporates Bill Lewis 6 December 2011

2 Tax - why does it matter?  Charity law: charities should not carry out a non-charitable activity  Income/corporation tax: Charities run the risk of paying tax on profits  Rates: carrying out non-charitable activity affects entitlement to rates relief  VAT implications

3 Five Step Test  Does the activity amount to trading?  Does the charity have power to carry out trading?  Is it primary purpose trading?  If not, does the trading fall within any tax exemptions?  If not, should it be carried out through a trading subsidiary?

4 Tax Exemptions  Primary Purpose Trading  Anciliary Trading  Small Scale Trading  Donations  One off fundraising events

5 Small Scale Trading Activities  First £5,000 of Charity’s gross annual trading income is exempt from VAT, or  If incoming resources are in excess of £20,000 then 25% of incoming resources are exempt from tax up to a maximum exemption of £50,000  Income must be applied solely to charity’s purposes  Exemption applies to income not otherwise exempt - e.g. fundraising exemption

6 Fundraising Events Tax & VAT Exemption  Event organised and promoted as for charity fundraising by a charity or its trading company  No more than 15 events of the same type in the same location, ignoring events where gross income is £1,000 or less  Events can have no more than 2 nights accommodation

7 Exemption covers  Admission charge, brochures, sales of advertising space, other items sold at the event, sponsorship, raffles  NB IF THE CORPORATE ORGANISES THE EVENT THE EXEMPTION DOES NOT APPLY

8 Trading Company?  If not primary purpose trading, and  No tax exemption  Then consider routing income through trading subsidiary  Driver for using a trading company is usually corporation tax saving rather than VAT saving

9 Advantages of Trading Company  Avoids charity incurring a corporation tax charge  Ring fences other risks into a separate organisation  May enhance VAT recovery - I.e. VAT on costs may be recovered when they could not be recovered when run through the charity

10 How is corporation tax saved?  Charity owned trading subsidiaries are liable to corporation tax just like any other company  But if they gift aid profits to the parent charity the gift is tax deductible  Downside is that if tax is to be avoided completely no money profits can be left in the trading subsidiary for investment.  Therefore consider charity to trading co. loans

11 Tax, VAT & Corporate Sponsors  Donations – outside the scope of VAT  If sponsor simply asks for acknowledgement – no VAT  If sponsor requires use of their name & logo – this is advertising, non charitable activity, sponsor’s payment subject to tax and VAT

12 What to do?  Split payment between donation to charity and fee to trading company. Fee is commercial value of sponsorship.  Or fee of 10% of sponsorship is usually safe if no known commercial value.  Smaller fee if sponsorship huge and but benefit to sponsor small.

13 What if the sponsor wants more than publicity for their name and logo?  May have to consider more of the payment from the sponsor being a fee subject to VAT run through the trading company  Consider on a case by case basis - get advice.

14 Summary of Gift Aid Rules  Charity receives 25p for each £1 donated.  Donor receives higher rate tax relief  Corporate donor receives tax relief, but charity cannot reclaim tax on donation  Detailed guidance in Charities section of HM Revenue & Customs website 

15 Gift Aid Rules (continued)  Gift aid not allowed if donor or connected person receives benefits as a result of the donation.  Connected persons are relatives of the donor and their spouse  Benefits are:  Donation up to £100 – 25%  £101 - £1,000 - £25  Over £1,000 – 5%

16 Gift Aid Rules (continued)  Participants and their families can sponsor themselves under gift aid to take part in the London marathon – benefits deemed within the limits unless travel/accommodation/expensive presents provided.  Same rules apply for similar events - e.g. Great North Run - where in effect the “pain” is deemed to outweigh the “pleasure”!

17 Gift Aid Rules (continued)  Must contain donor’s name, address, charity’s name, description of the donations covered.  Also must include a note explaining the donor must pay tax sufficient to cover the gift aid tax  HMRC have model declarations on their website  No requirement for claims to be signed/dated  An address need only be a house name/number and post code  Workplace addresses not acceptable  Model declarations can be run off the HMRC website

18 Five Top Tips 1.Corporates always want publicity in return for payments - split between VATable and taxable fee for this and tax and VAT free donation 2.Make use of the "one off" fundraising events exemption 3.Claim gift aid on employee donations whenever you can 4.The tax reliefs for charities do NOT apply to the corporate supporters… 5.…But they do get tax relief on the sponsorship payments and gifts they make to you

19 Bill Lewis Tax Consultant Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP 2 – 6 Cannon Street London EC4M 6YH Tel:


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