The Nuffield Foundation, which successfully appealed for the change of policy, is now negotiating with HMRC on the proportion of VAT it can claim back (Third Sector, 6 February).
The amount charities can reclaim will depend on the level of their VAT-registered business activities that are subsidised by income from investment.
James Brooke-Turner, finance director at the foundation, said his organisation had been subsidising two publishing arms. "It's a very important relief for us," he said.
According to the NCVO and Guidestar UK, investment management costs the sector £86m a year.
Heather Lamont, head of charity business development at HSBC Investments, said: "We're looking at ways to help our clients identify any potential retrospective claims."