Let's not make assumptions
I see that more than one poster has been critical of the charity concerned. We have no information as to whether they have been approached so why assume that it is necessary to launch in with complaints to the diocese/bishop/press/MP and why assume that the recipient of the donation is being 'unchristian'?
We don't know if the church even knows there is an issue. Having had involvement with church finance in the past I am sure that it will be possible to find a way to work this out in a way which ensures that the client is looked after. Surely the first step is to talk to the vicar concerned?
A discrete chat with the vicar
I presume your client is connected with this church in some way? If so it should be fairly easy to make an informal, discrete approach to the vicar. As a lot of money is involved he may need to talk to the Treasurer and/or finance team but this issue needn't result in your client's finances becoming a topic of general knowledge/speculation.
Speaking as a former member of my church's PCC I know how expensive churches are to maintain and how important gift aid is to a church's finances. But, I would be horrified to discover that such a kind, generous donation resulted in hardship and distress. Church finances can be a bit labyrinthine as they need to comply with modern charity law as well as older covenants & restrictions etc, but there are general and discretionary funds available and if the 'buildings fund' cannot repay the gift aid there should be a mechanism for doing this through other channels.
if you'd like to chat...Hi Daniel
This is an area I have experience of and it would be a pleasure to help but I'm afraid experience has taught me to be wary of seemingly simple intra-EU trade issues! So I apologise for leaving a less than helpful post. If you'd like to chat my number is 01252 726 877.
beware the detailI am a VAT specialist who has worked for a major firm. I have reviewed many 'TOGC' agreements prepared by solicitors and have often advised that a contract is a TOGC when the solictor said it wasn't and vice versa. You have to be very careful about exactly what the contract says and the devil does tend to be in the detail.
If a deal is a TOGC for VAT purposes it won't cease to be a TOGC simply because the parties involved say it isn't a TOGC. In this sense you do not have a choice over the VAT treatment to apply to the sale or your client's VAT registration liability.
However, you can exercise some choice in advance by choosing whether or not to fulfill the conditions for TOGC treatment. To pick an easy example, one condition for a TOGC to exist is that there must be no significicant break in trade. Closing the business for a period would break this condition and the sale could not be a TOGC.
Be careful, by going against the seller's view of the transaction you are shifting the risk of incorrect VAT treatment to your client. If your client does not register and HMRC decide that TOGC treatment should apply they will want back VAT on takings and not allow recovery of the VAT charged on the transfer which will entail your client trying to recover it from the seller instead. The potential for things to get messy is huge.......
There are many Tribunal cases involving restaurants which may be helpful to your client in assessing HMRC's view (Tolleys VAT cases has loads of references).
I would say no.......The basic principal is that re-invoiced travel expenses will follow the same liability as the main supply being made by the travellor to his customer.
This case is unusual as there is no 'main supply' as the payment is made to ensure the customer comes to visit. If, as appears to be the case, what the supplier receives in return for paying you is simply your attendance at a meeting in the US, your supply to your supplier (!) is not subject to UK VAT.
Yes you will need the figuresSorry Anon, but HMRC will require you to submit figures with a protective claim. Therefore you will have to pursuade the client that the costs of preparing the claim are worth the risk (unless you are willing to work on a contingent basis)....
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