There was much speculation last night on Twitter about the Find Madeleine Fund and the Charities Commission, with many people saying the McCann’s were denied charity status.
Yes the anti-McCanns have yet again jumped in with both feet and landed firmly on their backside.
The truth is this.
On May 20th 2007 the Sunday Times ran an article, included in that article was the following:
Tax blow for search fund
In addition, the fund will not benefit from gift aid, a form of tax relief that allows charities to claim from the government an additional 28p for every £1 they receive in donations. And tax will have to be paid on all interest accrued by the fund.
Last night the Treasury refused to intervene, insisting it was the preserve of HM Revenue & Customs to decide tax liability.
The development will embarrass Gordon Brown who told Madeleine’s family last week he would do all he could to help on “a practical and a personal level”.
The decision on charitable status could hit the family’s efforts to trace Madeleine. Her parents Kate and Gerry are considering hiring a private investigator amid concern over the way police have handled the hunt. A FUND to finance the international search for Madeleine McCann will be forced to pay Vat and denied tax breaks worth tens of thousands of pounds after being refused charitable status writes Mark Macaskill.
The Madeleine fund has already received almost £80,000 from the public and businesses. Madeleine’s parents had hoped for charity status for the fund but were turned down by the Charity Commission because the money raised is not for the “wider public good”.
Instead, the fund has been registered as a company, which means it is liable to pay Vat at 17.5% on advertising costs and goods designed to raise funds, such as stickers. Charities are eligible for “zero rate” tax relief on such expenses.
Once the Times printed that article, a statement was issued by the Charities Commission via Charity News Alert, in which the following was stated:
The Charity Commission has denied a report in The Times newspaper that it refused to award charitable status to the fund set up by the parents of missing child Madeleine McCann to finance the international search effort.
The Commission was quoted in the article as saying the money raised was not for the “wider public good”, but has told Charity News Alert the story had been “misreported”.
“We were first approached for our advice about the possibility of a fund to assist the parents’ search on Monday 14 May,” explained a spokeswoman for the Commission. “We held discussions with the family’s lawyers and in the end they decided not to pursue that route.”
Since the disappearance of Madeleine from a holiday villa in the Algarve, Portugal, on 3 May, the story has captured the public’s sympathy and filled column inches in both the tabloids and the broadsheets. The search fund, known as Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned, has so far raised over £184,000 from the public and businesses.
So the truth of the matter is, they WERE NOT denied Charity Status, the Lawyers just held discussions and then proceeded to take the route that the fund would have Company Status and be registered with Companies House.
I suppose the Charities Commission are now “in on it”.
Source for this information is from the McCann Files