Charity Tax Commission call for evidence

Rationale for a review of charitable tax reliefs

Tax reliefs for charities are estimated to be worth £3.77bn a year, the main ones being business rates relief, Gift Aid and VAT relief, while reliefs for individuals are worth £1.47bn. The last comprehensive review of charity taxation and reliefs took place over 20 years ago. Since then, the voluntary sector and the environment in which it operates have changed significantly. The sector has grown in scale and charities now do far more, including playing a bigger role in the delivery of public services. Britain’s departure from the EU also presents potential opportunities to review a number of issues related to the tax treatment of charities.

Against this backdrop and ongoing pressures on local authority spending and other funding streams for the voluntary sector, we believe it is a good time to do an in-depth assessment of how the tax system functions in relation to charities and what – if any – changes could help position them better to fulfil their long term strategic role in society.

Read more about the Charity Tax Commission

About this call for evidence

This call for evidence seeks views and evidence from anyone with relevant knowledge, expertise or experience of the system of charitable tax reliefs in the UK, including charities, donors, academics, think tanks, representative bodies, accountants, philanthropy and financial advisers, tax professionals and members of the public.

In particular, we are keen to receive thoughts about the effectiveness of current reliefs, which are summarised in the consultation document (Word, 55KB), and whether the existing system could be improved in order for charities to better serve their beneficiaries. We welcome all ideas about how the tax system can help to create an operating environment in which charities can maximise the public benefit they generate.

Respondents should in their comments reflect the commission’s determination to make practical, evidence-based recommendations focused on increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the current tax system. To help get a sense of priorities, we would like you to demonstrate how ideas for reform keep within the current fiscal settlement by indicating what other areas of charity tax relief or spending might be deprioritised in order to provide expenditure in other areas.

The secretariat will be arranging meetings with stakeholders during the call for evidence period and are hosting open sessions for interested parties in different parts of the UK.

The dates of these regional public evidence sessions are:

  • 27 June Birmingham, in partnership with BVSC. 12.00 - 14.00
  • 3 July Manchester, in partnership with GMCVO. 14.00-16.00
  • 9 July Newcastle, in partnership with VONNE. 14.00-16.00

Members of the commission will be in attendance at each session, as well as speakers and key stakeholders from the locality and further afield. If you would like to attend, please fill out our booking form to secure your place.

Download the call for evidence response template  (Word, 55KB)

Submit your evidence

Please submit your completed forms to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please include your name, or where applicable, your organisation name in the subject line.

Please submit your evidence by 17.00, Friday 6 July 2018. Unless respondents indicate to the contrary, it will be assumed that they have no objection to their response being made public. If you have any questions about the Charity Tax Commission, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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