Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

The change in VAT treatment by HMRC

The change in VAT treatment by HMRC

15th September 2015
In this month’s video blog, Caritas Anchor House CEO, Keith Fernett, speaks about the ongoing dialogue Caritas Anchor House is having with HMRC, in regard to our capital building works.

In 2011, Caritas Anchor House launched our £15.3million Home and Hope Appeal, with the aim of transforming our organisation and the provision of homeless services in Newham. The final phase, to construct 25 independent ‘move-on’ flats to aid the transition into independent living, is well underway after commencing in November 2014.

Keith states that the development will now cost £1million more than we had anticipated because of change in the way HMRC are treating the organisation for VAT purposes. It seems that our use of positive language (a residential and lifeskills centre as opposed to a homeless hostel) has been an influential factor in HMRC’s decision.

Keith expressed that the debate with HMRC is ongoing, however, as a result of this situation, we have had to pause the building works and our finances have been hit as we have had to face the additional VAT costs, professional advisors fees to enable us to challenge the decision and further fundraising costs in an attempt to meet the shortfall.

Keith also highlights a report undertaken by experts at Oxford Economics which found that, by providing accommodation and life changing programmes for some of the most disadvantaged people in our society, Caritas Anchor House provides £3.98 in benefits to society for every £1 invested in its operations. That’s a Social Return on Investment (SROI) of 398% per annum.

Caritas Anchor House is proud to be a high achieving organisation, and has recently been shortlisted as ‘Social Champion’ at the Charity Times Awards 2015, for the third consecutive year.

With these achievements in mind, Keith closes by asking HMRC to work with Caritas Anchor House, so we can continue to deliver our vital services to the hundreds of homeless people in Newham.

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