Who let the cat out of the box?
A rap on the knuckles for the Charity Finance Directors Group.
The body sent out a press release at 12:50pm on Budget day, only 20 minutes into the chancellor’s speech, detailing moves on abuse of reliefs used by charities. Strange, as nobody else is allowed to release such material until the chancellor sits down, including the Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs.
When TS phoned HMRC to snitch on the CFDG, they were not exactly fuming, but a spokesman for the taxman did say that if the CFDG had been a public sector group, they could have ‘ended up in the tower’ over such a breach of protocol.
The CFDG, an independent charity, said in its defence that it was ‘slightly over assiduous’ in keeping its members informed about the changes, and that the move was a simple mistake.
The early release does raise one question, of course. We were led to believe that avoidance moves were not disclosed to anyone, not even the late Downing Street cat, before the chancellor had finished his speech. Were the CFDG briefed in advance? Perish the thought.