Entrepreneurs who supported Brexit have complained of “outrageous” tax bills for their contributions to the Leave campaign.
Donations to political parties, charities and other bodies are usually deemed exempt from tax but HM Revenue and Customs has ruled that payments from individuals to referendum campaigns are liable.
Among those who have been asked to pay six or seven-figure sums are Lord Edmiston, who donated £1 million, the banker Peter Cruddas and the former Ukip donor Arron Banks who gave £8.1 million to the unofficial Leave.EU campaign and faces a £2 million bill. Demands were sent in the past fortnight, The Daily Telegraph reported.
As I understand it – open to being corrected – this is gift tax to stop people beating inheritance tax.
You give a large gift, you should pay the tax on it. Donations to a referendum campaign are such a gift. Thus tax is due from the donor.
Of course, tax money being spent on the same referendum – on either side – doesn’t face the same bill. Nor do corporate donations. Which does rather shade things in favour of the establishment, doesn’t it?