Understanding your world

Dixon Wilson is a specialist provider of audit, accountancy and advisory expertise to UK-registered charitable companies and trusts and other not-for-profit organisations.


The rules governing UK charities are increasingly complex and require careful management. Dixon Wilson are experienced in providing specialist advice and compliance services to UK charities and not for profit organisations.

We know that charities have their own special requirements and everything we do is designed to:

  • Help you get the best results for your beneficiaries;
  • Make it as easy as possible for you to comply with all of your statutory obligations;
  • Help you to avoid any unexpected tax or VAT charges.

Accounting, Independent Examination and Audit

Compliance with the Charities SORP and other aspects of charities’ law when preparing accounts is an area which requires specialist knowledge.

We are experienced in accounting under the SORP and look to make your lives as easy as possible by assisting at the accounts preparation stage and helping you to establish practical financial reporting systems which keep track of all the information required. Our audit and examination services are tailored to the specific needs of the not for profit sector.

Avoiding an Unexpected Tax Charge

It is all too easy for charities to become subject to income tax or corporation tax, perhaps because all funds are not spent in order to meet charitable objectives, fund raising events fall outside of the specific exemptions available or benefits are provided to donors.

Dixon Wilson can review the charity’s activities to identify where possible liabilities to tax arise and help restructure the charity’s affairs so as to minimise the tax costs. Where we are appointed as auditors, we will look to add value by identifying potential tax or VAT issues which we come across as part of our audit- a review of your tax position will always be part of our audit work.


Charities need to consider their VAT positions carefully in order to minimise the real cost of VAT and ensure they comply with the VAT legislation. VAT for charities is a notoriously complex area and one which can be costly if mishandled.

We can advise on how to maximise the VAT that you can reclaim on your expenditure, including advising on those VAT reductions specifically aimed at charities which are often missed. We can also assist you in structuring your income streams so as to minimise the VAT you are required to charge.


Charity trustees face a difficult task keeping up with changes in the charity sector and ensuring they are meeting all of their responsibilities.

We can assist trustees by keeping them updated on changes in the sector, advising on specific governance issues, for example trustees’ remuneration, purchase and sale of property or trading by charities. We offer a useful sounding board of trustees and management to bounce ideas off and we are often asked to attend trustees’ meetings in an advisory capacity.


Dixon Wilson offer the full range of compliance services and can do as little or as much as required in order to keep your organisation on track. We are used to working closely with the charity’s trustees, staff and other professional advisers to provide an efficient service. Our role will often change as the charity grows and develops.

Compliance services we offer include:

  • Assisting in registering charities with HM Revenue & Customs:
  • Preparing quarterly VAT returns and dealing with VAT inspections;
  • Operating charity payrolls;
  • Preparing corporation tax and income tax returns where these are required;
  • Preparing statutory accounts: – Auditing or examining your accounts;
  • Registering for gift aid repayments and advising on gift aid documentation and claims.

Charities and Trading

Many charities carry out trading activities, whether or not they realise it. Proper structuring of trading activities will be vital to avoid running into tax and VAT problems and to ensure that activities are properly managed in accordance with the Charities Act.

Dixon Wilson can assist in advising on the tax and VAT position of trading activities and helping to structure these including establishing and operating trading subsidiaries. We can advise you when your fund raising activities are likely to be deemed as trading to ensure your affairs are properly set up so as to comply with Charity Commission guidance and HMRC requirements.