Feeds

Taxman denies Wikipedia UK charity status

Decision unlikely to be amended

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Wiki-fiddling isn't a charitable activity, according to the UK tax man. Revenue and Customs is denying tax privileges that go with charity status to Wikimedia UK, or Wiki UK Limited, as it's officially registered.

Wikimedia requested that because it is "disseminating knowledge", the operating company should receive charitable tax perks, stating its objective is to "aid and encourage people to collect, develop and effectively disseminate knowledge and other educational, cultural and historic content in the public domain or under a license that allows everyone to freely use, distribute and modify content... [blah blah]"

Alas, the tax man didn't agree that merely curating and publishing the world's most intensely-edited [citation needed] compendium of Lightsaber combat and female pornographic film actors doesn't count as education.

"The production of an encyclopaedia is not the charitable advancement of education and has not been accepted as such in law... If the object [should] be the mere increase of knowledge it is not in itself a charitable object unless it is combined with teaching or education," Customs responded in declining the request.

Harsh, or what?

The problem could be solved if, as everyone expects, Wikipedia becomes a commercial operation that doesn't need charitable status. Bono-backed VC company Elevation Partners has chucked $1.35m at Wikipedia, and the Mozilla Foundation provides a workable legal precedent: a non-profit with a commercial wing. License changes are currently being mooted.

But for now, the fiddlers could find ways of making the operation look more edukashnul and that. We suggest Wikia UK establish a British School of Fiddling, in which the public can be tutored in the labyrinthine layers of bureaucracy required to have their edits to "the Encyclopedia anybody can edit" rejected. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.