NCVO and Social Enterprise UK
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Charitable status for Community Benefit Societies

Registered Societies that are co-operative societies cannot generally be charitable. Community benefit societies may or may not be charitable, depending on their objects and the extent to which they provide public benefit.

Charitable community benefit societies are currently classed as exempt charities. This means that they enjoy charitable tax breaks such as relief from income tax, corporation tax and capital gains tax, exemption from inheritance tax and relief from business or non-domestic rates, but they are not required to register with the Charity Commission since they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

It is intended that the law should be changed so that most charitable community benefit societies will be obliged to register with the Charity Commission, but at the time of writing this is still under discussion.