2010s

2010

  • In June, research by CTG indicates that the total irrecoverable VAT bill facing charities has risen to over £1bn. This figure is extensively reported
  • In the Commons, David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, recognises the importance of the UK’s zero rates to charities and confirms that the Government will protect them
  • In the House of Lords, Baroness Morgan of Drefelin, on behalf of the Opposition quotes CTG’s research on the impact of VAT on charities
  • CTG heavily involved in successful campaign to ensure that pay-per-click advertising qualifies for zero-rating
  • Following changes to the place of supply rules, CTG leads successful campaign and secures an important concession for charities on freight transportation outside of the EU, potentially saving charities millions of pounds worth of irrecoverable VAT
  • CTG secures additional concessions to the Community Infrastructure Levy regulations to ensure that the charity exemption is fully workable

2011

  • CTG persuades HMRC to reverse its proposal to withdraw the zero rate applying to the design element of composite design and build contracts – saving the sector more than £200m
  • With funding from the Nuffield Foundation, CTG publishes the Charity Tax Map, the first-ever comprehensive study of the impact of taxation on charities
  • The substantial donor to charity rules are repealed. CTG was not only involved at the heart of the campaign for their repeal, but worked closely with HMRC to conceive and write the replacement legislation
  • After a seven-year CTG campaign, the Government agrees to implement a mandatory EU law provision for a cost-sharing VAT exemption
  • In May, CTG/ECCVAT responds to the European Commission’s consultation on the Green Paper on the future of VAT
  • European Commission publishes its response to the consultation and calls on Member States to introduce VAT refund schemes on a consistent basis for public bodies and to extend this to charities providing equivalent public good on an outsourced basis
  • The House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) recommends that the Government extend eligibility for the VAT refund scheme to charities that deliver public services
  • John Hemming (Wellcome Trust) elected Chairman

2012

  • CTG publishes its Briefing Note – Grants and Contracts. Outsourcing by public sector bodies: VAT implications for charities
  • Government proposal to introduce a cap on tax reliefs for charitable gifts is reversed
  • VAT zero rating on listed buildings removed, but CTG helps to secure improved transitional rules
  • CTG helps to mitigate the impact on charities of VAT being imposed on Royal Mail bulk mailings, for example by proposing alternative arrangements such as Downstream Access (DSA)
  • CTG is working with others in support of the introduction of Living Legacies
  • Finance Bill 2012 published on 29 March contains measures following consultation with CTG, including:
    • cost sharing provisions – many of the CTG’s suggestions were accepted by HMRC
    • the reduction in the rate of Inheritance Tax for estates leaving more than 10% net to charity
    • the Cultural Gifts Scheme
  • CTG gives expert advice to Commons Public Bill Committee on planned Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS), securing improved eligibility requirements

2013

  • Government Fair Playing Field Review recommends VAT refunds schemes for certain charities
  • Launch of Charities Online – CTG secures six-month transition period for charities struggling to make the change
  • CTG secures European Commission confirmation that there is no legal obstacle to a VAT refund scheme
  • BUFDG and CTG secure transitional rules following removal of VAT exemption on research

2014

  • HMRC drops proposal for a new definition of charity for tax purposes following criticism led by CTG
  • Retail relief (including for charity shops) introduced – CTG clarifies State Aid position
  • VAT refunds for search and rescue charities, air ambulances and hospices are announced (under s33A of the VAT Act 1994)
  • Confirmation that HMRC policy on the VAT treatment of direct mailing has changed – HMRC agrees to postpone the start date of new VAT arrangements by six months and not take retrospective action following representations from CTG, saving the charity sector a significant sum

2015

  • VAT refunds for search and rescue charities, air ambulances and hospices are introduced, and are extended to include blood bikes
  • CTG secures a charity exemption to the Diverted Profits Tax
  • Retrospective concession for VAT and direct mail extended by a further five months as CTG helps to shape guidance and clarifies position of data correction