Charity Tax Group launches national VAT research survey

I am pleased to announce the launch of the Charity Tax Group’s national VAT research survey. The survey, which the recent Charity Tax Commission report cited as important new research, will provide invaluable information about the impact of the VAT system on the contribution charities are able to make on a sector by sector basis.

Believe it or not there are no comprehensive figures for the amount of VAT relief charities claim, nor the ability to evaluate effectively the impact of changes to those reliefs or changes to the VAT system as it applies to charities.

To be clear, this is not about Brexit. Regardless of the outcome of Brexit and subsequent negotiations, VAT is facing an overhaul. The Office of Tax Simplification has called for a review of UK VAT rates, reliefs and exemptions and the European Commission has committed to greater flexibility for VAT rates and is in the process of considering recommendation to the system in the context of public bodies.

We must put ourselves in the position of being able to defend what we value about the VAT system and persuade government to consider changes where the system can be improved. The only effective way to do this is to have the statistical data to demonstrate the impact on a charity’s ability to perform its mission in the first instance and then the broader contribution made towards the socio-economic wellbeing of the country including the creation of employment and taxes paid to the Treasury.

Our survey will enable us to do this on a charity sector by charity sector basis. The modelling tool developed from the gathered information will enable us to instantly evaluate any proposed changes to the VAT system in the future.

The Survey 

We have received funding to commission London Economics to quantify the value of existing VAT reliefs and model the impact of potential reductions and/or increases to VAT reliefs and changes to the underlying VAT system. A representative sample of charities has been selected and sent a request to complete the survey.

If you have not been contacted but would like to be part of this survey, please let us know (at [email protected]) so that we can pass on your details to London Economics for consideration.

Once this information has been collected it will enable us to commission further research on the broader socio-economic benefit of charity tax reliefs.

Thank you in advance for supporting this research.

John Hemming

Charity Tax Group Chairman