Feeds

Taxman denies Wikipedia UK charity status

Decision unlikely to be amended

New hybrid storage solutions

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.