Finance, Finance & law

The Complete Charity VAT Handbook

VAT for charities and voluntary organisations can seem like an impenetrable forest. This book brings clarity and light to this complex subject, drawing together guidance on VAT to provide the essential knowledge you need to manage it with confidence.

Written by experienced charity finance and tax specialists, you’ll be sure you’re using your VAT entitlements and reliefs to the fullest advantage, while avoiding the pitfalls that could result in a huge and unexpected bill.

Who should buy this book?

This guide is required reading for charity finance managers, accountants, book-keepers, and anyone else who deals with charity finances on a daily basis. Its advice and information will benefit all not-for-profit organisations, including schools and social enterprises.

What does it cover?

Using worked-through examples and clearly set-out advice covering all aspects of VAT for charities, this one-stop reference book includes:

  • How VAT operates for both registered and unregistered charities
  • When you need to charge VAT and how to decide
  • Recovering the VAT on purchases and handling VAT on overhead costs
  • Obtaining exemptions from paying VAT and maximising reliefs
  • Dealing with international transactions and group structures

‘Charity VAT can be a minefield. This comprehensive guide helps navigate through that complexity and will be a very useful addition to any charity professional’s bookshelf.’

Richard Bray, Finance, Regulatory and Taxes Manager, Cancer Research UK


‘VAT is the curse of the charity sector. Fiendishly difficult but impossible to ignore. A minefield to be negotiated with care. Thank goodness then for this book. Written in the authoritative but understandable language that has been the hallmark of Kate Sayer’s work. A must-have on the shelf of every charity finance professional.’

Professor Paul Palmer, Bayes Business School


‘A detailed and yet approachable book that both charities and their advisors will find useful and well worth the publication price.’

Bill Lewis, Consultant, Bates Wells Braithwaite


‘VAT is a complex area particularly for charities and working with Kate over a number of years has certainly helped me to understand and deal with VAT issues. The book provides a comprehensive guide to the matters that are important to us.’

James Tarleton, Head of fundraising finance, British Red Cross

Look inside

Have a look inside The Complete Charity VAT Handbook.

About the author

Alastair Hardman

Alastair is an author and advisor on charity taxation and accounting. After many years at the coalface of the voluntary sector running an organisation in North London, Alastair trained and qualified as





Kate Sayer

Kate Sayer has specialised in charities since 1984. As a chartered accountant and partner in Sayer Vincent, she advises charities and social enterprises on a wide range of finance, tax, governance and management issues. Kate particularly enjoys training trustees and staff in charities to make finance and risk subjects more accessible. Kate teaches charity finance at Cass Business School and contributes to the leadership development programme for finance professionals.

Kate has authored or co-authored several popular books on charity finance, including A Practical Guide to Charity Accounting, A Practical Guide to Financial Management, A Practical Guide to Managing in a Downturn  all for Directory of Social Change.



Update relating to COVID-19

Alastair Hardman, author, and advisor on charity taxation and accounting, has released a COVID-19 related VAT measures update of his book The Complete Charity VAT Handbook.

This update* includes key changes to VAT law, cases and practice since the book was issued and should be read in conjunction with the book itself.

You can download the free update here. You do not need to purchase the book to access this free update, but it should be seen as complementing the book rather than a replacement for it.

*This update should be taken as guidance only and is not a substitute for professional or legal advice.

Buy the physical copy

Price £50.00

Buy as downloadable pdf - Pay by card only

What is pdf?
Price £40.00

By placing this order you agree to DSC's terms and conditions:
Terms and conditions