Thirty-one charities refused to pay the Fundraising Regulator's levy in 2017

According to figures from the watchdog, 1,444 of the 1,605 eligible charities have paid the levy for the first year 'or have committed to paying very soon'

Home to the Fundraising Regulator
Home to the Fundraising Regulator

A total of 31 charities had refused to pay the Fundraising Regulator’s levy by the end of last year, the regulator has said.

A spokesman for the watchdog said that at the end of last year, 161 charities had not paid the levy for year one, which ran until September, and the regulator accepted that some would not be paying the levy for that year.

Charities that spend more than £100,000 a year on fundraising have been asked to pay a voluntary annual levy of between £150 and £15,000 based on their fundraising spending to fund the regulator.

The spokesman told Third Sector that 1,444 of the 1,605 eligible charities had paid the first year’s levy "or have committed to paying very soon".

He said 161 charities had yet to pay for year one, but the regulator was in negotiation with 47 of those about their contributions and would continue to negotiate with them until a conclusion was reached. Another 59 had committed to paying the levy for the first time in its second year, he said.

But 31 had refused to pay the levy, the spokesman added, although he declined to name them.

"We are working to understand their reasons for this and, where possible, come to a resolution with the organisations concerned," he said.

The think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs was among those named as not having paid the levy in August, and it confirmed today that it was still refusing to pay.

An spokeswoman for the IEA said: "Our position remains the same – that the IEA won’t be paying the levy if it’s not compulsory because we feel we don’t fit into the category of charity it was designed to target."

The spokesman for the Fundraising Regulator said the regulator had been in contact with all charities that had previously not responded to payment requests after the Charity Commission issued "regulatory letters" to them.

In September, Stephen Service, the regulator’s policy manager, said in a blog that it would cease to chase year-one payments at the end of December 2017 and would instead prioritise getting year-two payments.

Today the spokesman said: "We haven’t formally written off year-one contributions in our accounts yet, but acknowledge that a very small proportion of charities, about 4 per cent, won’t be paying."

The figure of 4 per cent of eligible charities would equate to about 64 of the 1,605 charities that the regulator considers should pay the voluntary levy.

In August, the regulator published a list of 1,570 charities that it said were eligible to pay, of which 162 had not paid, and said it was negotiating with a further 95.

The spokesman said today: "Some charities have gone off and others have come onto the list. This is simply because we have gained a better idea of their fundraising spend and whether or not they are eligible."

- The story originally said the Charity Commission published a list of the 1,570 charities that were eligible to pay the levy, but it was the Fundraising Regulator that did this 

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