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Sigrid Hemels

In this chapter, Sigrid Hemels examines the impact of EU law on charities. Because of their important role in civil society, charities are often granted a special status in national tax legislation. Many charities undertake activities abroad and fall within the realm of EU law, for example, because of crossborder investments, fundraising activities and competition with foreign charities. Tax legislation for charities is, however, not harmonized in the EU and varies widely. In the past 15 years, EU law and especially the fundamental freedoms have had a significant impact on the direct tax position of charities. The author critically analyses these developments.

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Sigrid Hemels

In the USA, private and corporate donations are very important for the cultural sector. In Europe, cultural institutions are often funded by direct subsidies. However, private donations, including corporate sponsorship, are also important in many European countries. On the other hand, because of tax incentives applicable to donations, private donations often imply indirect government support, also in countries such as the USA. An important example of a tax incentive is the deductibility of gifts for income tax purposes, an incentive provided for by, for example, the USA, Japan and several European countries. The questions discussed in this chapter are why governments apply this kind of government support and what the pros and cons of tax incentives are, especially in the field of culture.