Expat charity shop owners urge VAT tax relief on their sales

Published:  30 Jun at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, Money, Euro
Expat charity shop owners in Spain are fighting to end VAT taxation.

The expat owners of two charity shops on Spain’s Costa Blanca are taking on the Spanish government in an attempt to cancel the charge of 21 per cent VAT on all sales. According to David Young, the new president of the Reach Out charity in Torrevieja, the government is raping charitable concerns through its ridiculous Value Added Tax law. The Help at Home charity shop, run by Carmen Perez, is also calling for VAT relief on all sales, and both are urging all Spain’s charities to join up and help to bring about the changes.

David explained the ridiculous situation to local reporters, saying when the items in charity shops were manufactured, the tax is raised, as it is when the items are sold to the general public. Once the original purchaser donates the item to a charity shop, VAT is again due on its sale. As a result, the Spanish government has received three separate sales tax payments on the same item, a ridiculous situation at best and usury at worst.

David added he believes the government either doesn’t or refuses to understand the meaning of charity, preferring to continue taking money from charities’ bank accounts which would be far better spent in helping those in need. Those donating their used goods to the shops don’t expect some 25 per cent of total revenue to be taken by the government and frittered away. The two shops, he said, paid around 20,000 euros each in sales tax last, even although sales in charity shops in other EU member states are tax-exempt.

In addition, charity shop sales support social services, thus saving local government funds, and would be able to do far more should the government stop the taxation. Worse still, the Costa Blanca government has been ramping up inspections of charity shop accounts and has fined some as much as 24,000 euros for unpaid sales tax.
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