Charities and trading - a complicated business

For a charity, a trade may be a valuable source of income - but charity law and the tax rules conspire to make trading by charities a difficult area, with numerous pitfalls for the unwary.

Often, as will be seen, trading activities must be transferred to a non-charitable trading subsidiary ("hived down") rather than being carried on by the charity itself. However, setting up a trading subsidiary is not entirely straightforward.

This note looks at whether a trade is being conducted, when it may be necessary to hive trading activities down, and how this should be done.