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HMRC internal manual

VAT Charities

Charity shops and sales of goods: Other types of sale


As long as the goods to be sold have been donated to the charity the sale can be zero-rated. However, the charity cannot limit access to selected individuals - the sale must be open to the general public. Access should only be limited for health and safety grounds. However the charity can advertise the auction as it sees fit and may choose to limit adverts to those areas where they feel they are likely to attract potential buyers.

Stalls or tables selling goods within another event

As long as all the goods have been donated to the charity the sales will be zero-rated, even if the event qualifies for exemption as a fund-raising event.

Goods not suitable for sale to the public

These are goods which may be such poor quality that the charity cannot sell them in a shop, or that the charity is unable to sell because of trading standards regulations, such as electrical goods. Such goods can be sold to scrap merchants or the like at the zero rate.