Umbrella bodies join forces to lobby on study of EU tax

Year-long study and consultation on charity VAT issues across Europe

Charity umbrella bodies from across Europe have formed a research and lobbying organisation to raise the profile of the VAT problems faced by charities.

The new group will feed information into a comprehensive study of European VAT that will be made by an as yet unnamed private firm on behalf of the commission.

Mathieu Mori, policy officer at the Charity Tax Group, said the year- long study would then lead to a consultation on public and third sector VAT issues across Europe starting in early 2011.

"A very large piece of work is being carried out, and charities will be a small part of it," Mori said. "We need to make sure we are not ignored.

"We expect the commission to announce which firm will carry out its study any day now, and we aim to meet representatives from the organisation as soon as possible to ensure they understand the sector's needs."

He said the members of the working group would gather information on VAT laws and the VAT issues faced by each country's charitable sector.

The members of the group had not yet been chosen, but they would include charities from many of the EU's 27 member states, said Mori.

"Once we've chosen the members and the leaders and gathered preliminary data, we'll decide on a long-term lobbying strategy," he said.

The working group will build on the work carried out by Eccvat, which has campaigned for a better deal on VAT for charities across the EU, he said.

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