Glenn is a regular TameBay reader and today shares his personal experience of trading with Charities on eBay.
This morning I received an email from an apparent ‘Charity’ representative asking if I could give a special discount on a number of items. This is not the first such email I have received and I thought I would share my thoughts on the matter.
Firstly I personally support several charities and believe that giving by either donating or fund raising is a good thing. My favourite charity shop gets all my unwanted stock and returns and I will continue to support those charities which have significance to me.
I don’t donate a percentage of sales income to any of the charities available through eBay because I prefer to keep business and my charity work separate.
One American customer who I communicated with sent me $100 via my Paypal selling account for one of my charities which he also supports. The money was very welcome but it created a minor blip in my accounts and although not currently VAT registered I wouldn’t want to reach the threshold because I had combined business and charity fund raising.
I also didn’t want to engage in emails back and forth with this apparent ‘Charity’ representative to verify if they were legitimate, and to be quite honest their record of feedback left for others put me right off the possibility of dealing with them.
I believe that although business should support charities there should be clear distinction between the two.
Editors Note: Glenn is correct about the complications of charity fund raising/donations from a tax perspective. If you want to make charitable donations from your business you will need to read up on the HM Revenue & Customs documents “Gifts to charity made by companies” and “VAT implications of Giving to Charity by Businesses“. In fact any disposal (including giving away) of business assets is normally considered as supplying goods and you will have to account for VAT on the disposal.
It is often simpler, as Glenn suggests, to make a personal donation with Gift Aid or to specifically list items on eBay with a donation through listed on your personal eBay account, not your business selling account.