A donation that is freely given, and for which nothing is received in return, is outside the scope of VAT. Therefore, where an element of the purchase price for charity Christmas cards is optional and is clearly set out as a donation to charity, no VAT is chargeable on that part of the payment.
In addition, Christmas cards donated to a charity for sale are VAT zero-rated when sold by that charity (or its trading subsidiaries).
In all other circumstances, VAT is chargeable on the full price paid for charity Christmas cards. This position reflects the requirements of our European VAT agreements.