Tax when your limited company gives to charity

Donate Now

1. Overview

Your limited company pays less Corporation Tax when it gives the following to charity:

You can claim tax relief by deducting the value of your donations from your total business profits before you pay tax.

There are different rules for sole traders and partnerships.

 

2. Donating money

Your limited company can pay less Corporation Tax when it gives money to a charity or community amateur sports club (CASC).

Deduct the value of the donations from your total business profits before youpay tax.

Payments that don’t qualify

You can’t deduct payments that:

  • are loans that will be repaid by the charity
  • are made on the condition that the charity will buy property from your company or anyone connected with it
  • are a distribution of company profits (eg dividends)

If you’re given something in return

Any benefits you’re given in return for your donation (eg tickets to an event) must be below a certain value.

Donation amount Maximum value of benefit
Up to £100 25% of the donation
£101 – £1,000 £25
£1,001 and over 5% of the donation (up to a maximum of £2,500)

This applies to benefits given to any person or company connected with your company, including close relatives.

If you get a benefit that’s related to the company your donation qualifies as a sponsorship payment.

 

 

3. Equipment and trading stock

Your limited company pays less Corporation Tax if it gives equipment or items it makes or sells (‘trading stock’) to a charity or community amateur sports club (CASC).

Giving equipment

You can claim full capital allowances on the cost of equipment.

To qualify, the equipment must have been used by your company. This includes things like:

  • office furniture
  • computers and printers
  • vans and cars
  • tools and machinery

Giving trading stock

If your company donates its trading stock to a charity or CASC, you don’t have to include anything in your sales income for the value of the gift. So you can deduct the full cost of the items from your total business profits before youpay tax.

VAT

If your company is VAT-registered, you’ll need to account for VAT on the items you give away.

However, you can apply zero VAT to the items – even if you normally charge the standard or reduced rate – if your company makes the donation specifically so that the charity can:

  • sell the items
  • hire out the items
  • export the items

This means you can reclaim the VAT on the cost of the trading stock you donate.

If you can’t zero rate the items, use the VAT rate you normally apply to them.

 

 

4. Land, property and shares

Your limited company could pay less Corporation Tax if it gives or sells any of the following to charity:

  • land or property
  • shares in another company

You can’t claim for gifts or sales of shares in your own company.

Contact your chosen charity first to make sure it can accept your gift.

What you get

If you give these to charity (including selling them for less than they’re worth):

  • you won’t have to pay tax on capital gains
  • you can deduct the value of the gift (its ‘market value’) from your business profits before you pay tax

If you donate or sell to a community amateur sports club (CASC), you don’t pay tax on capital gains but you can’t deduct the value of the gift from your business profits.

Work out the market value

You’ll need to know how much the gift would sell for in an open market (its ‘market value’) to calculate your tax relief. You can get professional help with this.

What you need to do

You must keep documents relating to the donation to show that you’ve made the gift or sale and that the charity has accepted it. You must keep these records for at least 6 years.

Land or property

You must get a letter or certificate from the charity which contains:

  • a description of the land or property
  • the date of the gift or sale (the ‘disposal date’)
  • a statement confirming that it now owns the land or property

Shares

You must fill in a stock transfer form to take the shares out of your company’s name and put them into the charity’s name.

Selling land, property or shares on behalf of a charity

When you offer a gift of land, property or shares, the charity may ask you to sell the gift on its behalf.

You can do this and still claim tax relief for the donation, but you must keep records of the gift and the charity’s request. Without them, you might have to pay Corporation Tax.

 

5. Seconding employees

You can deduct any costs as normal business expenses if:

  • your company temporarily transfers an employee to work for a charity (known as a ‘secondment’)
  • an employee volunteers for a charity in work time

Your company must continue to pay the employee and run Pay As You Earn (PAYE) on their salary. You can set the costs (including wages and business expenses) against your taxable profits as if they were still working for you.

You can’t claim the costs of employees on secondment or volunteering at a community amateur sports club (CASC).

 

 

6. Sponsoring a charity

Charity sponsorship payments are different from donations because your company gets something related to the business in return.

You can deduct sponsorship payments from your business profits before youpay tax by treating them as business expenses.

What qualifies

Payments qualify as business expenses if the charity:

  • publicly supports your products or services
  • allows you to use their logo in your own printed material
  • allows you to sell your goods or services at their event or premises
  • links from their website to yours

If you’re unsure whether a charity payment qualifies as a sponsorship payment or a donation, contact the charities helpline.

 

 

7. How to claim

There are different ways to claim tax relief depending on the type of donation you make.

Deduct from your profits

Claim relief in the Company Tax Return that covers the accounting periodduring which you made the donation or sale if you have:

  • donated money
  • given trading stock
  • given or sold land, property or shares

Enter the total value of your donations in the ‘Interest payable and similar charges’ box of the ‘Profit and loss’ section of your tax return.

There are special rules for working out the value of your donation if you give or sell land, property or shares to a charity.

Deduct as business expenses

Deduct costs as normal business expenses in your company’s annual accounts if you have:

  • seconded employees
  • sponsored a charity

Claim capital allowances

Claim capital allowances on the cost of equipment you donate in your company’s annual accounts.

If you donate more than your profit

The most you can deduct is the amount that reduces your company’s profits to zero.

If you donate more than your total profits you can’t:

  • declare trading losses on your tax return
  • carry over any remaining amount to your next tax return

 

 

www.gov.uk/tax-limited-company-gives-to-charity