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

Andy Fletcher andy_offsite at cyberware.co.uk
Fri Dec 22 23:43:07 UTC 2000

I knew the information was somewhere. Where we have to be careful is making 
sure "that our purposes are charitable (and therefore do not include a 
political purpose)". I think that this requirement could be difficult to 
sustain in our case and the ongoing responsibility on the directors would 
put a crimp in our style.


Publication CC9 from the charity commission states ...

(See http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/cc9.htm or 
http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/pdfs/cc9text.pdf )

Section 1: Introduction
3. Charities operate for the public benefit and their contribution to 
public life is immense. It includes tackling new issues and developing new 
ways of dealing with problems. Charities have a wealth of knowledge and 
experience which they can contribute to the solution, as well as the 
treatment, of problems relating to their area of work. The nation would be 
impoverished if charities were cut off entirely from public debate and the 
opportunity to inform decision-makers.
4. Charities must not be political organisations. But they are not 
precluded from all political activity. A distinction must be made between 
political purposes and political activities. The Courts have made it clear 
that a body whose stated purposes included the attainment of a political 
purpose cannot be charitable (Section 2 of this publication amplifies 
this). A body whose purposes are charitable (and therefore do not include a 
political purpose) may nevertheless engage in activities which are directed 
at securing, or opposing, changes in the law or in government policy or 
decisions, whether in this country or abroad (in this publication the 
expression "political activities" is used in this sense). But charities 
cannot engage in such political activities without restraint. In this there 
is a crucial difference between them and non-charitable voluntary bodies. 
Other voluntary bodies, unlike charities, having complete freedom within 
the law to support any cause they like. Charities on the other hand are 
restricted in the extent to which they can engage in political activities 
by the legal rules applying to them by virtue of their charitable status.
5. The degree to which charities may engage in political activity is the 
subject of this publication. The Guidance does not represent a view of what 
activities are acceptable as being of social or moral worth but seeks to 
describe what activities we consider charities can properly undertake under 
the existing law.
6. In any case where trustees remain uncertain as to the legality of 
proposed activities they should not hesitate to consult their legal 
advisers or to seek advice from us

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