Edited by Matthew Harding
Chapter 17: Taxation and the not-for-profit sector globally: common issues, different solutions
This chapter reviews the interaction of tax systems at the national and sub-national level and the not-for-profit sector. The chapter begins with a discussion of nomenclature in relation to the sector, and moves to an overview of the complexity and diversity of the sector in relation to organizational form, sources of funding, and mission. It then considers the arguments for and against the tax concessions that have typically been extended to the sector since ancient times, before surveying the treatment of not-for-profit organizations and activities in relation to various taxes, from income tax, to value added tax, to land and estate taxes. The chapter concludes with a consideration of difficult issues that have arisen in relation to the tax treatment of not-for-profits; these include the extent to which charities should be subsidized to participate in the political sphere, whether tax concessions should be extended to charities engaging in commercial activity, and the ways in which the tax treatment of charities might be affected by their cross-border activities.
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