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Retail: Charity Shops

Volume 715: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures have been introduced to remove regulatory burdens affecting charity retail shops. [HL801]

Charity owned and run shops receive significant tax concessions, examples include exemption from corporation tax on profits, zero VAT rating on the sale of donated goods and 80 per cent mandatory non-domestic business rates relief if the shop sells “wholly or mainly” donated goods and the proceeds are applied for charitable purposes. The concessions do not apply to shops owned by charities’ non-charitable trading subsidiaries. In addition, charities are able to claim Gift Aid on the sale of donated goods in charity shops.

The Health and Safety Executive has produced revised guidance Charity and Voluntary Workers—A guide to Health and Safety, and, jointly with the Charities Safety Group, an example risk assessment for charity shops which should make it easier for charity shop workers to ensure that they are meeting all relevant health and safety requirements.

The new Charitable Incorporated Organisation, planned for next year, will give charities the advantages of incorporation without the burden of dual regulation by both the Charity Commission and Companies House.

More generally, both the Charity Commission and the Cabinet Office (of which Office of the Third Sector is part) are publishing revised simplification plans this month, that indicate the progress made in, and plans for, simplifying regulatory burdens on charities and other third sector organisations.