Tax and VAT

Making your charity as tax efficient as possible not only makes financial sense but it is the legal duty of every charity to maximise its resources, including making use of tax reliefs.

Tax can be a complex area and getting it wrong can be expensive - one of the trickiest is VAT. Charities are able to claim a number of valuable VAT reliefs but knowing the rules can make the difference between a project being financially viable or becoming a financial liability. Our resources help to guide you through the tax maze.


How the RSPCA increased Gift Aid income
10 April 2024
Maximising Gift Aid income is the name of the game... Phoebe Cooper from RSPCA shares how the charity increased opt-in rates and income with behavioural economics and telephones.

CFG briefing: spring budget analysis 2024
6 March 2024
CFG takes a look at the Chancellor's spring budget announcements and analyses what they mean for the charity sector.

CFG Briefing: Autumn Statement 2023
22 November 2023
What does the Chancellor's Autumn Statement mean for you and your organisation? Richard Sagar, Head of Policy, CFG, takes an in-depth look.

Capital gains tax changes and maximising your charity’s fundraising
12 October 2023
Charities can benefit from donations of shares and it can be advantageous to individual donors too. Paul Mathias from RBC Brewin Dolphin explains how recent tax changes can boost charitable ...

Gift Aid 101 with Rachel Cooper
5 October 2023
Join Gift Aid expert Rachel Cooper and CFG's Richard Sagar to learn how to get going with Gift Aid and avoid common errors when making claims.

Gift Aid: avoiding common pitfalls
5 October 2023
Claiming Gift Aid doesn't have to be a headache. Louise Veragoo from Haysmacintyre looks the common pitfalls and opportunities for getting the most out of your charity’s Gift Aid claim. ...

Gift Aid: How giving to charity can reduce your tax bill
5 October 2023
Donating to your favourite charities can have a feel-good effect but did you know that your generosity could also potentially reduce your tax bill? Akin Coker from Buzzacott explains how.

Gift Aid: How to maximise donations made through fundraising events
5 October 2023
If your charity holds events to raise funds, the rules on when you can and can't claim Gift Aid can be tricky to navigate. Judith Pederzolli from PEM shares expert ...

Property development for charities
7 September 2023
Following on from CFG's popular VAT and Tax Conference in July, Socrates Socratous from Buzzacott outlines the VAT implications for different types of property use and development.

Get set for Gift Aid Awareness Day 2023
17 July 2023
On Thursday 5 October, let’s shout about the importance of gift aid and encourage all donors and supporters to #TickTheBox!

Crowe and CFG annual round-up 2023
27 January 2023
On 12 January 2023, Crowe UK and Charity Finance Group ran an annual round-up event, highlighting key legal and regulatory changes and updates. This ever-popular event covered a wide range ...

Fifty years of VAT
9 January 2023
As the fiftieth anniversary of VAT draws near, Simon Buchan from BHP takes a look at the latest HMRC approach to determining what is a business activity - an approach ...

Remote working abroad: what are the risks for UK employers?
14 December 2022
Working remotely abroad can give rise to a variety of tax and legal issues. Tim Stovold and John Williams from Moore Kingston Smith take a look at what to bear ...

CFG Briefing: Autumn Statement 2022
17 November 2022
What does the Chancellor's Autumn Statement mean for you and your organisation? Richard Sagar, Head of Policy, CFG, takes an in-depth look.

Keeping on top of National Minimum Wage
8 November 2022
What does your charity need to know when it comes to National Minimum Wage compliance? Caroline Jones from BDO shares some advice on what to consider and how to avoid ...

VAT and Covid-19 testing services
4 November 2022
If your charity received or supplied Covid-19 testing services, you could have overpaid VAT. Robert Marchant and Kieran Smith from Crowe UK explain.

The Government's 'Growth Plan 2022': An analysis
23 September 2022
Richard Sagar, CFG's Head of Policy, takes a look at the new Chancellor's mini-budget statement and what it means for charities.

Spring Statement 2022: Not nearly enough for those on low incomes
24 March 2022
CFG's corporate partners and Richard Sagar, Head of Policy, take a closer look at the Chancellor's Spring Statement, considering what it means for charities and those they serve.

Economic Outlook Briefing 2022/23
10 March 2022
Charity Finance Group and Pro Bono Economics provide an overview of the key economic issues and trends that may affect charities in the UK over the 2022/23 financial year. PDF ...

Finance Focus March 2021
30 March 2021
Welcome to the March 2021 edition of Finance Focus! In this edition, we take a look at how the use of digital technology in the sector has evolved in the ...

Tax Day: What could it mean for charities?
24 March 2021
CFG's Policy Manager Richard Sagar takes a look at what the government's 'Tax Day' on 23 March could mean for the charity sector.

CFG Briefing: Budget 2021
3 March 2021
CFG's member briefing on the Chancellor's Budget Statement, 3 March 2021.

Finance Focus October 2020
23 October 2020
Welcome to the October 2020 edition of Finance Focus. Issues covered inside: Mental health; fraud; audits; training; Brexit and much more!

Finance Focus September
22 September 2020
Let's raise our voice to raise Gift Aid!

Summer Economic Update
8 July 2020
Richard Sagar, Policy Manager, sets out a briefing on today's Economic Update by the Chancellor aided by commentary from our corporate partner experts. Together, they examine how the announcements might ...

The Charity Tax Commission report - does it go far enough?
23 July 2019
The Charity Tax Commission report was published earlier this month. Richard Sagar, CFG's Policy Manager explores the main findings and recommendations in the report. It's a welcome review he says, ...

VAT - Made Simple Guide
1 July 2011

VAT made simple guide.

VAT Postal Services - Claims for input tax
1 April 2010
Following the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) decision in the case of TNT Post UK Ltd this brief is to advise that HMRC will now begin considering these claims and ...

Whitechapel Art Gallery Tribunal Case
15 July 2008
Socrates Socratous, of SOC VAT Consultants, reports on the successful appeal of the Whitechapel Art Gallery against an HMRC decision to deny ‘Lennartz’ accounting to the refurbishment of an existing ...

Trading - A Survivor's Guide
1 October 2007
These Guidance Notes prepared by Pesh Framjee, Head of the Deloitte Not For Profit Unit and Special Adviser to CFDG, examine the issues around charity trading and taxation.

Fundraising Partnerships and Sponsorships
31 March 2007
Many fundraising organisations are now targeting corporate donors who expect to get some form of publicity in return for their “donation”.

Taxing Independents in the Charity Sector
27 March 2007
This Guide has been created by Bill Lewis of lawyers Bates Wells & Braithwaite and Charles Russam of Russam GMS Ltd, an interim management provider specialising in the charity and ...

VAT Issues Around Membership
15 March 2005
Helen Elliott, partner at Sayer Vincent, considers the issues of VAT on membership subscriptions and provides some examples of apportionment.

Tips for Reducing VAT Costs
24 March 2003
Charities can be very conventional with their VAT accounting, often relying on HM Customs & Excise for advice - perhaps because it is free.

Spring budget fails to address critical issues
6 March 2024
We take a look at the government's spring budget announcements and what they'll mean for sector.

Charities seek greater certainty ahead of Spring Budget
30 January 2024
The Civil Society Group and CFG set out four main asks of government ahead of the Chancellor's Spring Budget in March.

CFG welcomes extension of VAT relief on energy-saving materials
21 November 2023
CFG thanks charity members for supporting its submission to government.

CFG publishes sector’s ‘asks’ ahead of Autumn Statement
13 October 2023
As part of the Civil Society Group, CFG is urging the Chancellor to support the charitable sector and the vulnerable people and communities it exists to serve.

CFG responds to HMRC consultation on VAT relief
6 June 2023
CFG calls on government to reinstate VAT energy saving materials relief following member consultation.

The Chancellor provides much-needed cash
15 March 2023
CFG reacts to today's spring budget announcements and urges government to engage constructively with the sector to develop real, lasting solutions to economic crisis.

VAT anomaly holding back donations
28 February 2023
Charity Finance Group joins with 18 other organisations to call on the Chancellor to provide VAT relief for donated goods, bringing rules into line with existing reliefs.

September's mini-budget: Good, bad, ugly
23 September 2022
CFG comments on the new government's mini-budget statement delivered by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.

What the Autumn Budget means for you
27 October 2021
Richard Sagar, Acting Head of Policy at CFG, sifts through the Autumn Budget and Spending Review documents and explains what it means for charities.

POLICY UPDATE: Tax after Coronavirus
2 March 2021
CFG's Policy Manager, Richard Sagar, provides an update on the Treasury committee's latest report on tax which warns that 'tax reform is needed to address unsustainable public finances'.

Live Blog: Autumn Budget 2017
22 November 2017
On Wednesday 22nd November at 12:30pm the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, will deliver the first Budget since the General Election in June. If you can’t tune into the Chancellor’s speech, then ...

What should charities expect from the Autumn Budget 2017?
17 November 2017
It’s that time of the year again when the newspapers are full of gossip about potential giveaways or shocking tax changes which are going to cost eye-watering sums of money. ...

NCVO Almanac points to fundamental shifts in the charity operating environment
9 May 2017
NCVO has just published summary data from its Almanac 2017 and as always, it is a fascinating read. The launch is tonight, so I’m looking forward to what the NCVO ...

Common Gift Aid Questions Answered by HMRC
27 April 2017
On the 31st March 2017, CFG hosted its regularly Gift Aid Conference which was attended by charities, tax specialists and HMRC. HMRC's Charity Outreach Team, led by Andrew Kayley, spoke ...

Better partnerships needed between finance and fundraising teams
13 April 2017
Fundraising isn’t just about fundraisers. It is about the whole organisation. One of the lessons that the sector has had to learn is that good fundraising requires the whole organisation ...

CFG unveils Charity Tax Plan
21 October 2016
CFG has unveiled its plan for radical tax reform to reduce the amount of charitable resources lost through the tax system ahead of the Autumn Statement. 

EU Referendum: What could this mean for charities?
6 June 2016
As the 23rd June appears closer and closer this Europe's Final Countdown song has never felt more relevant as the UK public decides whether they will be voting to remain ...

CFG's 2016 Budget Briefing published
16 March 2016
The Chancellor announced Budget 2016 today.

A ‘straightjacket’ Budget: Pay, Tax Avoidance, Welfare and Assets
11 March 2016
Next week the Chancellor has to stand up and deliver his 8th Budget and it promises to be an interesting affair.

Hunting for the silver lining; the IFS, the economy and charities.
12 February 2016
This week I attended the IFS’s Green Budget 2016 event, which provides an essential commentary on the economic issues facing the current government over the next Parliament. The report comes ...

Targeted giveaways risk creating a hierarchy of charities
28 August 2015
Successive budgets over the last and current parliament have introduced targeted giveaways to charities through both Libor fines and VAT rebates. These funds have gone to selected organisations including military ...

Public benefit is at the core of both charities and the tax system
13 August 2015
Some of you may have read a recent column in the Financial Times by its Money Week Editor, Merryn Somerset Webb entitled “Charity should not begin with a tax break ...

Budget 2015 – Missed opportunities and targeted giveaways
18 March 2015
The Chancellor has sat down, the media are pouring over the budget documents looking for stories to come out of the figures, but what has been the impact of the ...

#volsecbudget – What should charities look out for?
17 March 2015
Tomorrow will mark the last Budget of this Parliament, and already a great deal has been trailed in the media from inheritance tax cuts to raising the personal allowance. 

Fog of uncertainty makes post-election planning difficult for charities
4 February 2015
Today the Institute for Fiscal Studies unveiled its Green Budget 2015.

Vision for sector post-2015. What did the politicians have to say at the CFG Annual Conferece?
19 May 2014
Following our overwhelmingly successful Annual Conference last Thursday, back at CFG-HQ we are now digesting the political nuggets that were debated in our closing plenary by the Minister for Civil ...

Managing in a Downturn Report Reflections....
11 April 2014
Yesterday saw the launch of the seventh ‘Managing in Downturn’ report – a survey series that we have run in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising and PwC since the ...

Research questions to get our teeth into on Gift Aid
2 December 2013
The National Audit Office has released a report on HMRC, Gift Aid and other tax reliefs on donations.  Overall it estimates the cost to the exchequer of these tax reliefs ...

NAO report on Gift Aid: Evidence of a lack of evidence
21 November 2013
Today the first of three long awaited reports into charity regulation and tax reliefs was issued by the NAO. 

Why charities need to respond to the SORP consultation
17 October 2013
Fraud, pledges and legacies represent just some of the key issues where the charity voice needs to be heard, says Richard Bray, Cancer Research UK. 

Business rate relief for charity shops in Wales: why it matters elsewhere too
11 July 2013
The business rates relief available to charities has been thrust into the spotlight of late. As well as a number of high profile cases linking charity rate relief to tax ...

FATCA: What charities need to know
10 May 2013
Eva Abeles and Melora Jezierska provide an update on the current status of FATCA legislation and its implications for the charity sector

VAT at 40: a win for the exchequer but a loss for the charity sector
7 May 2013
Last month, the start of a new tax year, was an unexpectedly busy one for charities, with procedural changes afoot to Gift Aid claims and PAYE, and the introduction of ...

Delayed reaction: what difference do Budget measures make to charities?
3 April 2013
As we toured the country last week, meeting over 200 charities to discuss Budget 2013, we were met by experts and charities that were, on the whole, underwhelmed by the ...

AAB Group
AAB delivers audit, accounting, tax, payroll, HR, consulting and advisory solutions across the UK and Ireland. During many years of working with charities, we’ve accrued valuable knowledge of how they ...

Accounting without Borders
Accounting without Borders helps not-for-profit organizations deliver maximum positive impact efficiently and effectively by improving financial systems. AWB has worked in 13 countries since its inception. Our services are grounded ...

We understand what sets charitable organisations apart – creating social value, not profit. BDO's national charity team has a comprehensive knowledge of charity finance, which is why many of the ...

BHP Chartered Accountants
Ranked at number 17 in the top 40 firms of charity auditors in the UK by Charity Finance magazine, BHP’s charity and not for profit team excels in this sector.

Bishop Fleming
Bishop Fleming is a leading accountancy firm based in the South West and Midlands. Recognised nationally as a Top 30 Charity Audit Firm by the Charity Finance League Table, Bishop ...

Over the past 50 years, we have taken a leading role in the development and promotion of best practice in the sector and now act for over 300 charity and ...

Deloitte is the adviser of choice for the Charities and Not For Profit sector. Our specialist team have experience of dealing with a wide range of third sector bodies and ...

Farrer & Co LLP
Farrer & Co is synonymous with the highest quality legal advice and service. We advise individuals, not-for-profit organisations, businesses, financial services and educational organisations on every aspect of the law. ...

Goodman Jones
We help charities and social businesses by providing advice, support, and the reassurance that all the financial aspects are well-managed, allowing you to focus on your important work.

haysmacintyre is an award winning firm of chartered accountants and tax advisors, with 35 partners and over 300 staff. Our award winning charities and not for profit team is one ...

HW Fisher Service Limited
HW Fisher works with 300 charities and not for profit organisations providing expert accountancy, audit, tax and advisory services to organisations of all types and sizes. Our reputation is grounded ...

Finance Software to Innovate, Not Complicate. iplicit's true cloud accounting software enables charities and nonprofits to streamline existing processes with automation and intuitive workflows, with in-depth analysis capability to drive ...

Mazars LLP
Mazars is an internationally integrated partnership, specialising in audit, accountancy, advisory, tax and legal services. Operating in over 90 countries and territories around the world, we draw on the expertise ...

Menzies LLP are accountants and strategic business advisors committed to bringing #BrighterThinking to your organisation. This approach is more than just balancing the books; it’s the difference we make to ...

Our insight into the Not for Profit sector is extensive; collectively MHA members are able to draw from the experience of over 1600 clients in the sector and 21 charity ...

Moore Kingston Smith LLP
Kingston Smith can help you meet all these challenges by delivering a comprehensive range of services specially tailored for the not for profit sector including auditing, accountancy, VAT and fundraising.

PEM has been serving clients in Cambridge and the south east for over 140 years. Today we are the largest firm of accountants, tax and business advisers based in Cambridge, ...

PKF Littlejohn
Whatever the size of your charity, you want to work with a dedicated and enthusiastic team of people who have a thorough understanding of your world.

Price Bailey
Price Bailey currently acts for over 400 charities and not-for-profit organisations. The Price Bailey service proposition is built around gaining a detailed knowledge of you and your business, and our ...

With over 1,000 charity clients of all sizes and one of the largest specialist charities groups in the UK, our understanding and appreciation of the unique challenges in the Not ...

Saffery LLP
Saffery advises over 300 charities and other not-for-profit entities in the UK on tax, VAT and accounting issues, and provides audit and assurance services for many.

Sayer Vincent
Sayer Vincent is the UK’s leading firm of award winning accountants and advisors specifically working for charities, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises.

Scrutton Bland
Scrutton Bland’s charity team have been working in the Charity Sector for over 20 years offering specialist tailored insurance and risk management advice. We understand the challenges faced by the ...

UHY Hacker Young LLP
The provision of professional services to the charity and not-for-profit (NFP) sector is one of the core areas we have built our business around at UHY and we are committed ...