Charities should take maximum advantage of the temporary lowering of VAT to 15 per cent by shifting their purchasing patterns, accountants have suggested.
"You can look at making savings on big purchases," said Helen Elliott, partner at accountancy firm Sayer Vincent. "It's now a good time to buy new computers and do refurbishment work, for example.
"You'll have to pay less VAT and you'll also benefit from lower costs."
Charities should make sure savings are passed on to them rather than retained by suppliers, said Elliot.
Debbie Jennings, VAT director at accountancy firm PKF, said charities should keep an eye on their bills.
"Charities should monitor the purchase invoices that they receive after 1 December to make sure their suppliers are aware of the lower rate and when it comes into effect," she said.
In some cases suppliers had a choice whether or not to supply goods at 15 per cent VAT, and charities should make sure they had done so, she said.