Budget 2018 introduced a Charities VAT Compensation Scheme. This will take effect from 1 January 2018 but will be paid one year in arrears i.e. in 2019 charities will be able to reclaim some element of the VAT costs arising in 2018.
Charities will be entitled to a refund of a proportion of their VAT costs based on the level of non-public funding they receive.
For example, where a charity’s gross income for 2018 involves 30% funding from State/EU/international organisations and 70% privately sourced income including fundraising, subscriptions and donations, they may claim 70% of their VAT input costs for the year.
Not eligible for relief under the scheme will be VAT incurred on private non-charity-related expenses; VAT incurred that is subject to an existing VAT refund order and VAT incurred that is otherwise deductible.
From 2018 onwards, charities will need to ensure that their accounting systems are designed to enable them quantify the total VAT cost and the proportion that is eligible for refund.
We would be happy to assist charities with implementing/upgrading their accounting systems to identify VAT costs so they can easily be reclaimed and on how best to structure their activities to ensure they maximise the amount of VAT they can reclaim.
You can view the Department of Finance’s document in full here.