The Charity Tax Group (CTG) has announced that it will produce a report early next year which will give a full analysis of the VAT reliefs available to charities.
Speaking at CTG’s Annual Tax Conference yesterday, chair John Hemming said the “essential” research would also evaluate the cost of potential additional reliefs that could be given to charities post-Brexit.
Director Helen Donoghue said the research would also aim to assess the amount charities pay in VAT when providing statutory services.
Hemming said this research would better equip the charity sector when arguing for the Treasury to back changes to the VAT system for charities.
He said: “It will be difficult to go into battle with the treasury and say 'we want these preserves' without being able to quantify it.
“So we want to be able to produce a report, which will be released in early 2019, which will evaluate all the reliefs and opportunities that charities could obtain and currently obtain so we can cost them and therefore defend those reliefs.
“I think it is essential that this is produced. There is nothing else out there that evaluates what we obtain from the Revenue and what the impact might be.”
Plea for funding
Hemming said the report will cost about £75,000 to produce, of which CTG had already raised £40,000, because it will require the organisation to employ statisticians and economists to do it professionally.
He asked for CTG members to pay their contributions for the year if they had not already and asked for anyone who could offer additional funding to do so.
Donoghue asked members to contribute information to the research if they were unable to offer any more funding.
Last autumn NCVO announced a Charity Tax Commission to "undertake a full review of the impact of the tax system on charities". CTG is involved with NCVO's working groups, but the project announced yesterday is completely separate.
*This article was updated on 29 May to clarify the research will focus on VAT reliefs, and not wider tax reliefs available to charities