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The first Value-Added-Tax (VAT) Directives were adopted in 1967, laying down the general structure of the EU VAT system but leaving to Member States to determine coverage of VAT and rate structures. The Sixth VAT Directive (1977) established a uniform VAT coverage. With the realisation of the Single Market in the early 1990’s, further legislation was adopted, and a transitional VAT regime was established until a permanent regime can be agreed on. As it was clear that more taxation competences were being transferred to EU decision-makers, charities and foundations were concerned about the impact of VAT on their activities. The European Charities’ Committee on VAT (ECCVAT) was formed in 1992 in response to this concern.


ECCVAT is the only pan-European organisation dealing exclusively with EU taxation issues for charities and foundations.

It represents a broad cross-section of charities and foundations in the EU and the UK, bringing together expertise from a cross-section of Member States and advocates for a fairer and simpler VAT system.

Mission & Objective

ECCVAT’s mission is to address the little-known impact of VAT on charities and foundations’ finances.


Most people do not know that charities and foundations have to pay VAT. But the fact that they do means that less of the donations they receive can actually be used to fulfil their objectives. Because charities and foundations do not charge VAT on the services they provide or fall out of the scope of VAT they cannot recover the VAT they pay on their purchases to support their activities. It is estimated that they pay around 6 billion euros annually in non-recoverable VAT in the EU.


Reducing the VAT burden on charities and foundations


person with megaphoneECCVAT is calling on the decision-makers to take into account the situation of charities and foundations. Improving their VAT treatment will have a positive impact on the lives of millions of people benefiting from services provided directly to them by charities and foundations.