Clarity on what constitutes “trading” for social enterprises and charities

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A recent tax case (Longridge on Thames v CRC) concluded that a charity providing training services for a fee was trading for VAT purposes.

The Court of Appeal said that the charge made by the charity for the training “was more than nominal in amount and was directly relate to the cost of the activity being provided”.  It is now clear that a charity, indeed any organisation, providing services will be considered trading if it has customers buying goods or services.  This is regardless of fulfilling charitable objectives, using volunteers in the trade, benefiting from grants and donations, or having charitable or social enterprise status.


As with all of our tax tips and web pages this information is necessarily summarised and of a general nature.  If you would like detailed specific advice please contact us.