Missing the point - Re: Tax-deductability of donation in Europe

Andy Fletcher andy_offsite at cyberware.co.uk
Mon Dec 18 22:20:35 UTC 2000

I think we are in danger of missing the point here.  It is good to make tax 
free donations possible but we should not design the organisation around 
this aim. It FSF-Europe is incorporated in any member state within the EU 
then it can issue invoices for contributions. This should satisfy corporate 
donors who have to justify the expenses to their accountants. If FSF-Europe 
exceeds the VAT threshold then VAT can be reclaimed by donating companies. 
On the other hand 'gifts' do not represent 'taxable sales' so there may be 
no VAT/TVA/FPA liability anyway - Lets just ask an accountant in whatever 
state we want to set the organisation up in first, we can always create 
additional country based organisations later.

If we can find a way of making all donations tax deductible for individuals 
- great, but lets not get overly hung up over the issue.  If I remember 
right Greenpeace are not registered as a UK charity because that would put 
severe constraints on their ability to operate in the political arena and 
charitable organisations are the only way that individual persons can 
reclaim tax.

The important thing is to get started and provide a focus for future 
developments.  If the original organisation proves to be restricted or 
unsuitable in some form then it is easy enough to wind it up and transfer 
the assets to the successor.

I am willing to do whatever is most helpful to FSF-Europe, my problem is 
trying to work out what that is...


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