Budget 2000: Missed opportunity on charity VAT

While Gordon Brown concentrated on making it easier to give to charitable organisations, Stephen Burgess, charity director at Saffery Champness, said the chancellor would disappoint fundraisers by failing to introduce measures to reduce the £1bn paid in tax, much of it in VAT.

Burgess said: ‘Everyone in the sector agrees that we would like some sort of relief on VAT.

‘It’s incredibly complex and the sector has been working for simplification.’ A recent MORI poll showed 79% of people believe charities should not be paying VAT at all, he added.

The help given by Gordon Brown to charity donations will commit the government to add an extra 28 pence for every pound a taxpayer gives to charity.The chancellor also pledged an extra 50 pence for every pound given through the payroll and announced tax relief would be available, not just for cash donations, but also for gifts of shares.

Companies will also get relief on the full amount of a corporate donation. Ticket sales for charitable events will be exempt from VAT.

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