Many organisations have multiple income streams that may be taxable, exempt from VAT or outside of the scope of VAT altogether.

Add to this other areas which require specialist tax advice such as gift aid, sponsorship, governance, mergers, reviewing budgets and investment management procedures and it’s easy to see why this is one of the most complex areas charity, education and not-for-profit organisations have to face.

Charitable trading subsidiaries and corporate tax

It may be that creating a trading subsidiary for your charity is the best way to mitigate your exposure – but corporate tax is a very complex area and if you’re not careful, this can easily backfire. Many of our prize-winning tax team members directly advise our charities department, so you can be sure that your organisation is always getting the very best tax advice.


Bishop Fleming is unique among regional accountants in having a dedicated VAT Director with a keen personal interest in the sector who has saved and retrieved huge sums for charity, education and not-for-profit clients.

The support and technical advice that has been provided to me in my role as Director of Finance of the charity and to the Trustees has been proactive and of the highest standard. This has been particularly so at Trustee level, for example, in recommending a review of our VAT position and in making changes to the structure of our subsidiary company. The latter was a particularly complex issue that Bishop Fleming were able to steer us through and enabled a satisfactory outcome to be reached. Hospicare, Exeter

Our specialist Tax & VAT Team


Tax & VAT News


VAT on charity income – grants and services

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HMRC has issued detailed guidance on when charity income can be treated as a grant and thus outside the scope of VAT, and when it is a payment for a supply and potentially subject to VAT. It is very […]

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Wheels come off VAT law as Harley bikers ride to victory

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Contrary to the tax office’s interpretation of how VAT should work with charities supplying benefits to their members, a tax tribunal has ruled in favour of the Harley Davidson owners group that each element of its membership […]

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