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HMRC internal manual

VAT Charities

What is a charity?: Distinction between a charity’s objects and the way it operates

You should not confuse the way in which a charity fulfils its objects with the charitable nature of the objects. There is nothing to stop a charity charging a large amount of money for its charitable services. Private hospitals, nursing homes and schools can have charitable status and may charge substantial fees. They will normally be charitable organisations provided they are non-profit making ie there is no distribution of profits to shareholders.