Community Interest Companies and Tax

Community Interest Companies and Tax



In today’s podcast, we aim to explore and demystify the common misconceptions surrounding tax obligations for Community Interest Companies (CICs). As passionate advocates of business finance, we want to illuminate the intricate relationship between CICs and their tax responsibilities.

Understanding Community Interest Companies (CICs)

Defining CICs
Firstly, before tax, let’s define what a Community Interest Company, or CIC, entails. Despite charities, CICs blend social enterprise with an entrepreneurial spirit, all in the pursuit of benefiting their communities.

CICs vs. Charities
In a crucial clarification, being a CIC doesn’t equate to being a charity. Even though charities enjoy specific tax exemptions, CICs navigate a different landscape with its own set of rules and obligations.

Tax Obligations for CICs

Generating Surplus
Notably, CICs often find themselves generating a surplus, equivalent to profit in the private sector. Regardless of the positive connotations, it’s important to note that this surplus is not exempt from corporation tax.

Mitigating Tax Liability
Furthermore, while there are strategies to mitigate tax liability, CICs engaging in commercial activities, grants, or donations must adhere to regular rules governing corporation tax.

Value Added Tax (VAT) Considerations

Impact of Commercial Activities
Shifting our attention to VAT considerations, it becomes relevant when CICs engage in commercial activities. Upon crossing the statutory turnover limit necessitates VAT registration.

Obligations Despite Structure
Moreover, whether limited by guarantee or shares, CICs cannot evade VAT obligations. This emphasizes the responsibility of navigating tax intricacies, regardless of their structural nuances.

Employment and National Insurance

Employee Tax Responsibilities
As CICs employ staff, they inevitably step into the realm of employer National Insurance obligations. This additional duty adds to the responsibility of operating payroll schemes, a critical aspect of tax compliance.

Clarifying Employee Status
Moreover, it’s essential to recognize that the distinction between an employee and a freelancer is about the developed relationship. This topic we’ll explore further in future podcasts.

CIC Structure and Tax Rules

Limited by Guarantee vs. Limited by Shares
By distinguishing between CIC structures, whether limited by guarantee or shares, it significantly impacts tax considerations. Dividends and fund withdrawals have specific rules that must be navigated.

Advisor Guidance
In cases of uncertainty about the intricacies of CIC structures, seeking advice from experts is paramount. Our inbox at IHATENUMBERS is open to support your queries, ensuring you have the guidance needed.

Grant Income and Accounting Considerations

Handling Grant Income

Grant income, essential for many CICs, comes with accounting nuances. Therefore, understanding restricted funds ensures accurate representation in financial records, a practice essential for tax compliance.

Not a Tax-Free Card

Further, with receiving grant income, CICs must recognize that it is not a carte blanche for tax exemption. Grant income serves specific project delivery purposes, and understanding its implications is critical.


In essence, being a CIC doesn’t exempt one from tax obligations. It’s a social enterprise vehicle combining an entrepreneurial trading spirit with income generated from various sources. We hope this episode clarifies common misconceptions about tax and CICs.

If you found this episode useful, we encourage you to share it within your network. CICs with specific questions or future topics can reach out to us. Until next time, this is your business finance fixer, signing off. See you on the other side.