Money Matters: Charity VAT returns, the Third Sector Enterprise Fund and credit unions

David Ainsworth's round-up of what's happening in the finance world

Charities should be aware that HM Revenue & Customs has started using a method called standard method override when it checks their VAT returns, according to Robert Warne, a VAT partner at accountancy firm Horwath Clark Whitehill. He said HMRC was using it in the cases of very large charities to check whether their methods of calculating VAT were accurate. A spokeswoman for HMRC said the process could be applied to any taxpayers, including charities.

A £12m Scottish Government fund has handed out 186 grants to social enterprises and credit unions. The Third Sector Enterprise Fund has made 169 awards of between £25,000 and £100,000 to social enterprises and 17 awards of less than £25,000 to build capacity in Scottish credit unions.

A private member's bill to align the law governing cooperatives and credit unions with the law on other financial institutions has had its third reading in the House of Commons. The Co-operative & Community Benefit Societies & Credit Unions Bill, introduced by Labour MP Malcolm Wicks, now requires only royal assent to become law.

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