Foreign charitable trusts and other foreign charities
Foreign charitable trusts and other foreign charities

The following Private Client practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Foreign charitable trusts and other foreign charities
  • Meaning of 'charity' for UK tax purposes
  • Gifts to EEA charities
  • Gifts to foreign charities outside the EEA
  • Use of a UK charity as a conduit
  • Foreign charities operating in the UK
  • Brexit and gifts to non-UK charities

BREXIT IMPACT: As of 31 January 2020 the UK is no longer an EU Member State. The effect of Brexit on the eligibility of non-UK charities for UK tax relief is considered below in Brexit and gifts to non-UK charities.

For convenience, the term 'foreign charity' has been used throughout the Practice Note to mean any entity of a charitable nature which is not subject to the jurisdiction of the UK courts and cannot, therefore, qualify as a 'charity' for the purposes of the charity law of any part of the UK. For a discussion on what makes a charitable organisation for the purposes of the jurisdiction of courts in England and Wales, see Practice Note: Essentials of a charity.

This Practice Note is concerned only with entities that do not qualify as 'charities' under these rules, because they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of any part of the UK.

It is necessary to distinguish between entities of a charitable nature established in other Member States of the EEA (for convenience referred to as 'EEA charities') and foreign charities established outside the EEA. Broadly speaking gifts to EEA charities qualify for UK tax relief, whereas gifts to non-EEA foreign charities do not.

The EEA comprises the Member States of the EU plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. At present, entities of a charitable nature established in

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