Is COSRECI eligible to be registered as a charity in the UK?

Discussion in 'Scientology Property Tax' started by RolandRB, Aug 26, 2011.


  2. RolandRB Member

    The Persche case was to do with income tax so it will be assumed it is to do with central government and not local government.
  3. RolandRB Member

  4. RolandRB Member

  5. Dreyfus was also income tax. So if Dreyfus applies then Persche does too. (It could be argued).

    Re Persche - implications go beyond income tax:

    IMO it could be argued either way. Finely balanced.
  6. It may be that we want to argue that Persche does apply, because if it does then COSREC - if a non-EU charity - does not get the benefit of it (unless Australia is on HMRC's list of favoured countries as referred to by the Finance Act 2010).
  7. RolandRB Member

    OK but Persche is to do with the free flow of capital between member states and does not apply to COSRECI.
  8. RolandRB Member

    Australia is not on the list but might be in the future but COSRECI would have to be registered there as a charity and HMG would only agree to it if the regulations governing charities there matched her own or were a close match. Having the equivalent of a "Charity Commission" would be a likely minimum requirement. Showing accountability to that Commission probably another.
  9. RolandRB Member

    I know about the CC decision and that they consider it applies to COSRECI but that is not the subject being discussed in this thread. The subject under discussion in this thread is their eligibility to apply for registration by virtue of their jurisdiction. Not to do with whether they would be accepted for registration (we all know that they won't). Settling the question of the jurisdiction simplifies the whole process and once it is settled then either way it loses them their rates relief.
  10. RolandRB Member

    When we are not getting the information we requested then here is a useful resource to point out to the persons not giving out the information.

    Section 42

    The advice itself must concern legal rights, liabilities, obligations or remedies or otherwise have a relevant legal context. Advice from a lawyer on a purely financial, operational, public relations or strategic business issue is unlikely to be privileged, unless the advice was obtained within a legal context – for example, in the context of possible legal remedies on an unfavourable outcome.

    See from the above that if the legal advice is just consultation and nothing to do with liabilities, obligations or remedies then it can and should be freely given in a FOI request. The number of times these pratts have hit us with LPP is ridiculous and has no basis.
  11. Anonymous Member

    Ok, I take your point and hope the Commission will clarify this then.

    Have you been through the legal advice given by Jonathan Crow QC to CoL in detail? This is in relation to point 8 in the CoL minutes, re: possible grounds to challenge jurisdictional arguments.

    If not see "Opinion 15/10/2008" under COSREC:
  12. RolandRB Member

    Yes, been through that. Crow gave good advice more along the "what if" lines but I think failed to give useful advice the CoLCorp for their current situation and what their liabilities and risks would be and how to move forward on that. The law was on their side.
  13. Sponge Member

    They should get a refund from Crow. His advice was terrible.
  14. RolandRB Member

    He gave the broad picture of the issues facing them if it came to a long and drawn out legal battle. He was doing them good service by pointing out their vulnerabilities.

    But it was not focussed on the issue at hand and since then, us wogs have had £300K per year taken out of our collective pockets that we would have spent on food (or beer).
  15. TinyDancer Member

    English courts have jurisdiction over any person who is present in England. COSRECI is present in England.

    Is it a charity? That's an issue of English charity law (and they've already been found to fail the public benefit test, so unless something has changed, which it hasn't, they are not a charity).
  16. TinyDancer Member

    More than one country's courts can have jurisdiction over a company, where that company operates in more than one country. The English courts have jurisdiction and the English charity laws apply to COSRECI's operations in England. If it branched out into Scotland, the Scottish courts and laws would apply to those activities.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. TinyDancer Member

    The Dreyfuss case concerned a charitable trust. I suspect that the jurisdictional limb of the definition of "charity" is there due to the fact that many charities are set up as trusts (or they used to be). Settling whether or not a court has jurisdiction over a trust is more complex than for a company, particularly where the company is registered in the jurisdiction in question (which settles the issue).

    In short, COSRECI is subject to the jurisdiction of the High Court with respect to its activities in England and Wales.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. greebly Member


    free "heads up" in respect to EU conditions from 1995 onwards.

    Your welcome - facepalm.jpg

    Hi ada btw PM me if you are UK based.
  19. RolandRB Member

    We don't have that in writing from an official body. If Camden council were asking the CC for clarification then it is something that needs an authoritative response. It is more complicated than you think. See the following case:

    Gaudiya Mission v. Kamalaksha DAS Brahmachary
  20. TinyDancer Member

    The Gaudiya Mission was not registered in England as a foreign company, as is COSRECI.
  21. RolandRB Member

    If the situation were clear then we would not have seen a Camden council solicitor writing to the CC to ask them about it and getting a reply (which we can not see) and then turning down COSRECI due to jurisdiction reasons. CC probably told them that they were controlled by Australian courts and that is why Camden turned them down. If we can get that out of the CC then we can use it to take away their rates relief all round the UK. IF, on the other hand, they decided it was under the control of the UK courts then why did Camden refuse them on jurisdictional grounds and why did the CC not chase them up and force them to apply to register?

    It is no use supposing the outcome. We don't have any authority. We need an authoritative "yes" or "no" and both are useful to us. As it stands it is in limbo and of no use to us.
  22. TinyDancer Member

    Sorry if I've missed this elsewhere, but have you made a complaint to the CC to the effect that COSRECI, a corporation registered in the UK, purports to be a charity, yet has not registered?
  23. RolandRB Member

    Camden, I think, made this allegation. WT asked for details but got it blocked with the usual LPP excuse. I am asking for a decision made regarding this which should avoid most of the LPP issues. When I have it I will act on it either way.

    The CC is a government Qango. It is their devolved authority. This is why Pickles mentioned them in urging councils not to give Scientology rates relief. Advice from them carries more weight than seeking legal advice. They are above Counsel but lower than a court. A local authority can act on their advice and feel safe because, indirectly, they are taking advice from the government. So if the CC says COSRECI are not under the control of UK courts we can use this to stop rates relief. If they say they ARE under the control of the UK courts we can pressure the CC to make them apply for registration, in which case they get turned down. And then we can use that to stop rates relief possibly by the local authority asking them to reapply under the new condition that they are an English charity that was refused registration. I note from the list supplied to WT that CoLCorp are not generous with mandatory rates relief and that COSRECI is an exception. In time, we should be able to remove that anomaly.
  24. Anonymous Member


    Whether or not the CC says that COSREC is under the jurisdiction of the high court, surely COSREC can still say they are 'for charitable purposes'?

    The Lgfa doesn't say the applicant has to be a registered charity.

    So, I don't get it.

    - WT
  25. RolandRB Member

    But they ask why they are not registered as a charity and this is where it gets interesting. They have gotten away with the excuse that because they are a South Australian "charity" then they are not allowed to register. And when told about the jurisdictional condition cemented in the Charities Act 2006 then they say they are indeed "established" in England and subject to control by the courts. And then when asked why they have therefore not applied to be registered as a charity in England (as by law they must) they say they are a South Australian charity and therefore not able to.

    It is like trying to drive a pin through a ball of mercury.
  26. AIN Member

    Okay, since this is totally TLDR; I will say it simply. Ask the Aussie government if it has jurisdictional and go from their answer.
  27. Anonymous Member

    Where's this correspondence pls? I'd like to read exactly what they say.

    Also, why in law do they have to be a registered charity ?
  28. RolandRB Member

    It's all in the thread near the start.
    That's the law. If they get more than 5000 quid a year then they have to apply for registration unless they are exempt.

    Charities and Trusts have special privileges in the UK such as not paying tax and getting tax rebates such as for property tax (non-domestic rates) so in return they are under a set of regulations to ensure they use their money for the purposes they said they would use it. Their operations are overseen by the CC to ensure they do their jobs properly. It is covered by laws.
  29. Anonymous Member

  30. RolandRB Member

    No. It is not decided.

    While not wishing to be unhelpful the seal stated in article X1 of the College's
    Incorporation document would suggest that the organisation would not fall within the
    jurisdiction of the English courts and therefore would not be regulated by the Charity
    If there is evidence that the organisation were claiming to be a Charity regulated by the
    laws of England and Wales the compliance division would consider the evidence further,

    We are missing the email dated 24/11/2009 in which the CC clarified the situation or started an investigation:

    Email from Charity Commission dated 24/11/2009
    Please find enclosed a response to your letter dated 4th November 2009.
    Email from Camden Council to Charity Commission dated 24/11/2009
    Thank you for your letter, the contents of which are extremely helpful.
  31. RolandRB Member

    We need all instances on record where Hodkin has claimed that COSRECI is both "established" in England and subject to the courts there. The more instances the better. This can be used to send to the CC for their opinion on whether they are subject to UK laws (and therefore have to apply for registration) or not.
  32. TinyDancer Member

    No, that won't help. More than one government can have jurisdiction. The answer has to come from the UK.
  33. TinyDancer Member

    Sorry, I haven't read the correspondence. My bad.

    I trust that the CC were informed that COSRECI is registered in the UK as a foreign company..? (It can't be that simple.)
  34. RolandRB Member

    I will enter into correspondence with them about this once I get an answer and ask them if this would make a difference.
  35. RolandRB Member

    Something puzzles me about COSRECI. That is why is it that they pay corporation tax in the UK if they make a profit on their "primary purpose" trade if they are a charity?

    I suppose the obvious answer is that they are not a charity for tax purposes in the UK. But then they get VAT relief. OK, "education" is exempt so long as they are a non-profit organisation.

    So they are not treated as a charity for corporation tax purposes in the UK. They are treated as a not-for-profit organisation that sells education for VAT purposes (exempt). And as for the auditing these are "fixed donations" and nothing is given in return so they are exempt as well.

    If they are a not-for-profit organisation then they are eligible for discretionary rates relief but not mandatory rates relief. If they were a charity for legal purposes in the UK then they would not be paying corporation tax. They do (sometimes) so it is clear that they are not a charity in the UK and yet they get mandatory rates relief which is only for charities that are "established" in the UK and subject to the laws of the UK and the courts.

    I think we are going to find out from the CC (if they care to release the information) that they have concluded that COSRECI are not "established" as a charity in England therefore they can not have mandatory rates relief and this is why Camden refused them. I think the CC made that clear to them in that email we didn't see. I think things are becoming clearer.
  36. Anonymous Member

    I hope you're right, but I'm not holding my breath.

    The whole thing is about as clear as mud.

    One thing to remember, a company can sell supplies which are 0-rated for VAT without being a charity. It's about what the supplies actually are which are being sold. E.g. adult's clothes attract VAT at the normal rate while children's clothes are 0-rated. So COSREC doesn't need to be a charity to sell things at the 0% VAT rate.
    • Like Like x 2
  37. TinyDancer Member

    Bear in mind that HMRC lost its appeal against the VAT decision because it didn't file within the time limit. Doh! So, COSRECI won that fight by default.
  38. Anonymous Member

    Really? That was surprisingly idiotic of the taxman. I thought COSREC won it in court?


    1) Is this FOI Response Information Disclosed.pdf
    the letter you were looking for?

    If not, can you please specify as exactly as possible what the missing info is?

    2) Concerning FOIA and the exemption for Legal Professional Privilege: this is only valid on information communicated from lawyer to client. This can include from an in-house lawyer to their 'client' in the same firm. But if the information was contained in a communication from charity commission to local authority then you could argue that for this reason it is not covered by the LPP exemption, even if it originated from a lawyer (within or outside the charity commission). The argument would be that the information lost its LPP protection when the charity commission communicated it onwards.

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