I read with interest the recent Tax Tribunal defeat lodged on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons that they be deemed not “philanthropic” enough to qualify for a multi-million pound tax break.
As a Freemason for the past 30 years I am very disappointed with this.
We are only second to the National Lottery as a charitable giver so the judgement seems most peculiar when companies giving lower donations qualify. It just doesn’t seem right.
I hope there is an appeal against this by the United Grand Lodge of England. It’s amazing because we have no high powered executives receiving very high salaries, as a lot of charitable institutions do, and unlike the Rotary Club which was formed really on the basis of jobs for the boys – it’s actually a business networking organisation despite its charitable aspirations – they in no way come near to the charitable contributions we give.
In 2010 we gave £82m to charities including the Royal College of Surgeons, Help the Hospices, the Red Cross and the Air Ambulance Service – all of which were deserving.
I am certainly going to write in offering a small sum towards legal costs for the appeal because I think quite frankly this decision was extraordinarily bad.