VAT and Charities

Speaker:  Nick Lawrence  |  CPD Hours: 6.0

Price £495 plus VAT

Select a date



It is a common misunderstanding that charities are afforded general relief from VAT just because of their status. The course is designed to provide a thorough explanation of the principles of VAT applicable to charities and the specific reliefs that are available under certain circumstances. At the end of the course, delegates will have a clear understanding of the most significant compliance issues and planning opportunities.

The likelihood of a charity being able to keep its exposure to VAT to a minimum will be significantly improved if knowledge and understanding can be improved at all levels within the organisation. Therefore, this course aims to heighten awareness at all staff levels within charities and for all those who make supplies to or receive supplies from them. Junior staff will become familiar with the right questions to ask and senior staff will receive clear guidance in making key, strategic decisions. 


  • An introduction to the basic principles of VAT applicable to charities based on the law, HMRC’s interpretation of the law in their internal guidance and public notices
  • Identifying the difference between business and non-business activities – the VAT treatment of charity activities is partly determined by whether or not they are ‘in the course or furtherance of business’
  • An analysis of typical charity income streams – once a charity has identified its business activities, it must then decide whether they are subject to the standard, reduced or zero rate of VAT, or exempt. This session explores some of the most common supplies made by charities
  • An explanation of key VAT reliefs available to charities – although there is no general relief, there are some specific reliefs available, subject to certain conditions
  • Clarification of the VAT treatment of land and property transactions relevant to charities – this area is notoriously difficult because all rates or exemption can sometimes apply and sums involved can be significant 
  • How to decide how much input tax can be claimed, including direct attribution of costs, business/non-business apportionments and partial exemption – due to their nature, most charities are not usually able to recover all the VAT on their expenditure, so this session covers the processes that should be applied in calculating the correct, recoverable amount.


The course is ideal for charity staff at all levels, who are directly or indirectly involved with VAT. It would also be particularly relevant for finance staff from other business and organisations involved in transactions with charities, and professional advisers of all of these.

Looking to train your team or a group?

We can deliver any of our courses tailored to your needs at your offices or at a location of your choice.

Find an alternative course

Advanced search

  • Sign up to our course reminder email here