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Brexit and the Charity Sector - What Do Trustees and Leaders Need to Be Aware Of?

on Thursday, 21 January 2021.

The more Brexit rolls on, the more the ongoing challenges become the new reality. What matters for trustees and senior charity leaders is to maintain awareness of the changes and an ability to know how to check up on relevant areas.

We have previously written of some key areas affected by the end of the Transition Period under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed in December - trade in goods and services, state aid, and data transfer with the EU.

If you want to read a summary of the deal, it is here (although the Agreement itself is 1,200 pages, this 'summary' is still 34 pages, so buckle up!)

The Charity Tax Group has recently summarised a number of current points to watch for the charity sector, namely:

  • Two articles of the trade deal, under the heading 'Institutional Framework', outline the role of the voluntary sector in the implementation of the deal and any further discussions. Article six says: “The parties shall consult civil society on the implementation of this agreement and any supplementing agreement, in particular through interaction with the domestic advisory groups and the civil society.” Article eight has a number of recommendations that include the organisation of a Civil Society Forum to discuss the implementation of part two of the agreement. In addition, the forum should meet at least once a year, and include not only civil society organisations established in the UK and the EU, but also domestic advisory groups such as non-governmental organisations, business and employers’ organisations, and trade unions, the agreement states.
  • The Government has published a new Brexit checker tool as well as updated its Brexit guidance following the end of the Transition Period.
  • HMRC has updated various tax guidance notes to reflect that the Brexit Transition Period has ended:

Admission charges to cultural events

Pay no import duties and VAT on goods for charity

How VAT affects charities

Reliefs from VAT for disabled and older people

VAT Refund Scheme for museums and galleries

Land and property

Coronavirus charities blogs


For specialist legal advice on any of the challenges Brexit poses to your charity, please contact Chris Knight in our Charity Law team on 07468 698954, or complete the form below.

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