New charity legal resource – VAT issues, Gift Aid for starters

Solicitors Bates Wells and Braithwaite have a new resource service, Get Legal, for charities and social enterprises. As well as providing affordable legal documents, available to download and customise, there is a Blogs and Knowledge section which will provide regular perspectives and insights on third sector matters.

First up is ‘Q&A: Tax and VAT for charities‘, outlining the potential complications of VAT, such as exemption, and also answering such questions as “Does HMRC really take charities to court?”.

Gift Aid

Bates Wells Braithwaite have also recently highlighted (in their Briefing email) that HM Revenue and Customs has updated its guidance on charity audits to include the following

“if HMRC find an unacceptable proportion of Gift Aid donors can’t be traced this may suggest poor record keeping by a charity, inadequate communication with donors or, exceptionally, fraud – these issues would be discussed further with the trustees of the charity.” 

BWB comments that there is no tax legal requirement for charities to maintain a minimum level of contact with donors – any such suggestion should be strongly resisted”.