TFN poll: should charity rules be tightened to stop abuse by tax dodgers?

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16th January 2015 by Graham Martin 2 Comments

Should charity rules be tightened to stop abuse by tax dodgers?

Poll results (total votes: 99)

Should charity rules be tightened to stop abuse by tax dodgers?
Answer:
No - they're fine as they are
Votes:
74
Ratio:
74.75%
Answer:
Yes - the system's too easy to abuse
Votes:
22
Ratio:
22.22%
Answer:
Unsure
Votes:
3
Ratio:
3.03%

If an organisation wants to set itself up as a charity – with all the benefits that entails, not least in terms of tax breaks - there is a test it must pass.

Legislation passed a decade ago stipulates the criteria groups must meet before they qualify for charitable status.

However, there have been concerns the rules are too lax – allowing too many groups to “jump on the charity bandwagon” for tax purposes.

MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s public petitions committee argued it was time for a rethink of the “charity test”, which is overseen by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

The concerns were raised as the public petition committee took evidence on private schools which have charity status.

We want to know what you think – should charity rules be tightened to stop abuse by tax dodgers?

Vote now – and join in the debate by commenting below.

Comments

20th January 2015 by William Douglas

The term 'tax dodger' is pejorative, and so is unsuitable in an unbiased poll. But when has that ever stopped TFN?OSCR, in a recent survey, suggested that anyone who is involved in tax avoidance schemes should be prevented from being a charity trustee. Many lawyers who are trustees also help write wills that encourage charity giving through the government's 10% scheme that reduces inheritance tax. from 40% to 36%. Are those who have money to donate to charity through these schemes 'tax dodgers'? Should we ban lawyers from being Trustees?The poll question refers to organisations, but as a generalisation, the funds in the questionable organisation come from very wealthy individuals who would probably not otherwise make funds available for charitable purposes.So, we need to be careful not to cut off the hand that feeds us.

23rd January 2015 by Manager

Once again a poorly worded question that will only get the answer that suits SCVO needs. Well put comment William Douglas