Feeds

Taxman denies Wikipedia UK charity status

Decision unlikely to be amended

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.