Complex charity avoidance scheme unmasked
Economic secretary John Healey says the Revenue has uncovered a series of complex avoidance schemes using securities owned by charities.
The scheme reduced the value of securities in the hands of charities by imposing obligations on the charity concerned exploiting gift tax concessions.
He said the sums attainable under schemes only recently uncovered were ‘virtually limitless’.
Healey exonerated the charities and promised the aim to encourage philanthropy remained. He said guidance would make it clear to charities where they stood.
Shadow Tory chief secretary Howard Flight described two of the crackdowns as ‘a fair cop’ but complained at the lack of time for professionals to study what was being done to ensure there were no unintended side effects.
He said some of the avoidance was in reaction to perceived retrospective changes in the tax position on sales and leasebacks.
Lib Dem shadow chief secretary David Laws backed the crackdowns.