• CTRG heavily involved with others in the sector in successful lobbying for income tax relief on single donations of £600 or more by individuals – Gift Aid!
  • Successful lobbying for increase in the limit on donations qualifying for tax relief under the payroll-giving scheme
  • CTRG negotiates beneficial VAT and direct tax treatment of affinity credit cards with Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise and the credit card companies


  • Zero rating of charity advertising extended to television, radio and cinema advertising
  • VAT relief secured for one-off fundraising events by trading subsidiaries of charities


  • Intensive lobbying at EU level, including launch of pan-European campaign by the EU’s Tax Commissioner, Mme Christiane Scrivener
  • Adrian Randall (Cancer Research Campaign) elected Chairman
  • European Charities’ Committee on VAT (ECCVAT) founded, chaired by Adrian Randall
  • CTRG negotiates text of European Commission draft proposal to allow a reduced rate on outputs of charities and also on inputs to charities


  • European Council of Finance Ministers agrees to allow reduced rate on outputs by charities – a crucial backstop if exemptions are lost – recognising for the first time in EU VAT law that the work of charities is special. Unfortunately, three Member States reject the Commission’s proposal that the relief should also apply to inputs tax incurred by charities
  • CTRG participates in the successful, highprofile campaign to stop the proposed increase on VAT on fuel for domestic or use by charities
  • CTRG leads the tax sub-group on the Charity and Voluntary Deregulation Task Force


  • CTRG publishes Trading by Charities – with support from Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise and the Charity Commission – the first time the departments had worked together on charity tax issues
  • On the issue of charity shops, CTRG publishes a booklet in response to the FSB’s report Trading in a Jungle of Unfair Competition
  • Ian Macgregor (Wellcome Trust) elected Chairman


  • CTRG commissions London Economics to produce the first detailed analysis of how VAT affects the sector, which demonstrates for the first time that 92% of charitable activity is in areas where Government has responsibility for the provision of services
  • CTRG publishes research conducted by MORI on Attitudes Towards Charities Paying Tax. MORI finds that the “overwhelming majority” (84%) of respondents agree that registered charities should be exempt from paying all taxes imposed by the Government with 70% saying that the Government should refund any VAT paid by charities. At the launch of the findings Sir Bob Worcester confirms that this is the strongest response MORI has received to any poll it had conducted to date
  • Former Home Secretary and Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Whitelaw, says in the Goodman Lecture for 1995: “We understand that the system of VAT must retain its integrity but we nevertheless cannot believe that it can be right that charities should be so uniquely disadvantaged by it.”
  • Over 50 leading corporate donors pay for full-page newspaper advertisement supporting CTRG’s campaign for full VAT refunds for charities
  • Legislation introduced to give statutory effect to the ESC under which tax exemption on charities’ income is extended to include bank interest and various other sources, including property received from abroad
  • Dedicated Inland Revenue team dealing with charities set up, following recommendations of CTRG-led sub-group of Charities and Voluntary Sector Deregulation Task Force


  • Successful lobbying for extension to nine months from the end of the accounting period for trading subsidiaries to Gift Aid their profits to their parent charity and still qualify for tax relief in that period
  • Successful lobbying around conditions for zero rate used by charitable providers of institutional and domiciliary care


  • In a last-minute Christmas Eve campaign led by CTRG, the Prime Minister, Tony Blair MP, stops VAT being imposed on white sticks and Braille
  • First Charity Tax Review launched by the incoming Labour Government – the main focus of the review being the VAT treatment of charities
  • At a CTRG meeting, Customs and Excise acknowledge that the VAT regime facing charities is the most complicated for any sector in the economy and that the objective of the review is to “introduce a VAT refund scheme for charities”
  • Loss of tax credits on dividends is a heavy blow to charities – CTRG is involved in successful lobbying for seven-year transitional relief for charities


  • CTRG heavily involved in development of Millennium Gift Aid announced in the March Budget
  • CTRG develops guidance for charities with overseas workers about the loss of the foreign earnings deduction and helped secure some concessions


  • CTRG heavily involved in work on the new Gift Aid scheme, with detailed discussions with Inland Revenue officials and working parties of charities. The result of this work is announced in the Government’s report Getting Britain Giving