It is interesting to note the amount of attention The Cup Trust scheme is receiving in the UK.  Members of Parliament are all over it.  The media is covering it.  There are all sorts of recriminations about who is responsible for allowing such a scheme to exist.  In Canada, over the last 9 years there have been abusive charity gifting tax schemes involving about $6 billion in tax receipts (with a loss of about $3 billion in tax revenue) and according to CRA less than 1% of the $6 billion has gone to charity.  There has not been the media and parliamentary interest in Canada.  It is also interesting to see how last year the UK government tried to curtail tax benefits of some wealthy donors.  Those proposals were opposed by the UK charity sector and ultimately dropped by the British government.  How many voices in Britain are starting to wonder if there needs to be more caps on tax benefits.  In Canada, a large number of organizations have come out in favour of certain additional tax incentives.  In the next week or two the Finance Committee of the House of Commons will deliver a report on tax incentives and other related matters.  It will be interesting to see whether the report calls for greater transparency in the charitable sector and greater safeguards against the abuse of the tax privileges of registered charities.  Will the report just suggest greater tax incentives without further safeguards?  If so this is a recipe for increasing use of charities for tax avoidance and other nefarious uses.

Here is some of the coverage:

Withers: Cup Trust Scandal Reveals a Shocking Abuse of Gift Aid, Clive Cutbill and Anna Lowe-Petraske, Withers (it is interesting to see the tone of the criticism by this UK law firm of this scheme they describe as “egregious abuse”)
http://www.spearswms.com/spears-world/wire/43222/withers-cup-trust-scandal-reveals-a-shocking-abuse-of-gift-aid.thtml

Sir Stephen Bubb is Chief Executive of ACEVO
http://bloggerbubb.blogspot.ca/2013/01/charity-commission-questions-to-answer.html
Interesting quote: “The Times today reveal a tax scam by a charity many of us had never heard of “The Cup Trust”. It is reprehensible for rich people to use gift aid to avoid tax. When this is exposed it must be stamped out. The behaviour The Times reports does not represent charities in this country – what they describe are morally bankrupt people driven by greed, who have hijacked a scheme that benefits vulnerable people to enrich themselves. Such behaviour should be punished to the full extent of the law. But do not tarnish people who give to charities or those who receive money by association with these people.”

Charity tax avoiders: Cup Trust bosses could trouser £7.7MILLION while good causes receive just £135,000 – Mirror Online
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/charity-tax-avoiders-cup-trust-1568343

How one of Britain’s biggest charities, the Cup Trust, is a front for tax avoidance.

How one of Britain’s biggest charities, the Cup Trust, is a front for tax avoidance. from unitedkingdom

Cup Trust scheme makes a mug of the tax man | Linstock Communications
http://www.linstockcommunications.com/blog/cup-trust-scheme-makes-a-mug-of-the-tax-man/

MPs want to grill Charity Commission over avoidance scheme
http://m.accountancyage.com/aa/news/2240786/mps-want-to-grill-charity-commission-over-avoidance-scheme

The Cup Trust Scandal Reveals Buck-Passing and Damages Philanthropy
http://www.spearswms.com/spears-world/wire/43177/the-cup-trust-scandal-reveals-buckpassing-and-damages-philanthropy.thtml

Cup Trust raised £176.5m in two years but gave only £55,000 to its causes
http://m.thirdsector.co.uk/article/1169190/Cup-Trust-raised-1765m-two-years-gave-55000-its-causes

Cup Trust tax avoidance should not reflect on voluntary sector
http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/14353/lansley_cup_trust_tax-avoidance_should_not_reflect_on_voluntary_sector

Here is a graphic which purports to explain the scheme: https://twitter.com/thetimes/status/296767271542603776/photo/1

Taxman refuses to pay out charity tax relief claims to investors
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2272426/Taxman-refuses-pay-charity-tax-relief-claims-investors.html?ito=feeds-newsxml#axzz2Joanw4Ni

Cup Trust: Gift Aid scam
http://www.rossmartin.co.uk/index.php/gift-aid/1031-cup-trust-gift-aid-scam

Here is a link to The Cup Trust website: http://thecuptrust.com/
Here is a screenshot of The Cup Trust website The_Cup_Trust_website.pdf

Amazing how much money was raised “using” a website that just has this content:
“We are a UK based charity that seeks to raise funds to enable us to make grants to other UK based registered charities.
We are registered, as a charity, and are governed by the UK Charity Commission. Our register number is 1129044.
The Charity Commission regulates the administration and affairs of all registered charities.
Whilst we can provide grants to any UK registered charity our current focus is on raising funds so we can provide grants to charities that seek to benefit children and young adults.
If you have any questions please email us at thecuptrust@gmail.com. We shall in future be listing details of all grants we make.”