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VAT Helpdesk will help charities “slash thousands from their marketing costs”

23 Aug 2011 10:11 BST Back
VAT Helpdesk will help charities “slash thousands from their marketing costs”
DMA News

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A new advice service set up to help charities to understand the VAT concessions available to them will help them to “slash thousands of pounds from their marketing and advertising costs.”

The VAT Helpdesk, set up by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) in conjunction with Zero VAT, will provide charity marketers with advice on the complex tax laws concerning the VAT on certain marketing goods and services.

Contrary to popular belief, charities are not exempt from paying VAT on goods and services. However, HMRC has in place a number of concessions that allow for certain marketing goods and services to be ‘zero rated’ for VAT.

Charities can claim relief on advertising that is placed in third-party media and communicates with the general public, as well as for the design and production of the advert. However, charities cannot claim relief for adverts placed on their own websites or publications. There are also concessions for some narrowly defined and specific printed matter, such as appeal letters and envelopes. Collection envelopes and collection boxes can also be zero rated for VAT.

The complexity of the tax laws means that many charity marketers do not understand how to use the system to their advantage when specifying marketing goods and services from suppliers. Richard Evans, head of compliance and legal services for the DMA, says that the VAT Helpdesk will help charities to save money:

“The VAT concessions available to charities are in place to aid fundraising; unfortunately they’re not terribly clear to anyone who’s not an expert in tax law.

“Our helpdesk will help charities to understand how they can potentially slash thousands of pounds from their marketing and advertising costs by providing advice on what goods and services are VAT zero rated.”

The DMA Helpdesk is a free service for DMA members. The helpdesk is designed to provide non-binding guidance and support on VAT queries which may not include specific VAT advice and/or representation which would constitute professional advice.

For more information on the VAT Helpdesk, click here or call 020 7291 3360.

Tristan Garrick, DMA PR manager
Tel. (020) 7291 3315

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