Philanthropy is still not tax-efficient in Europe! As concepts like free trade and free movement are now widely accepted, yet we still cannot speak about free cross-border philanthropy in Europe: tax-efficient giving across all national borders.
More European citizens are willing to make cross-border gifts and donations to help and support international causes and foreign charities. Unfortunately, most European countries do not grant income tax deductibility to donors wanting to support a foreign beneficiary in another Member State. This unequal treatment of national and cross-border philanthropy infringes the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the European Union treaties.
The European Commission is aware of this problem and has already requested some countries to adapt their legislation. But it takes time! The decisions of the European Court of Justice (Stauffer case, Persche case and Missionswerk case) confirm this.
As national and European solutions could take some time before being effective, the private initiative Transnational Giving Europe network provides an efficient solution and a serious alternative for the coming years. At European level, TGE is the only practical and secure solution for tax-effective cross-border cash donations.
The TGE network covers 19 countries and enables donors, both corporations and individuals, resident in one of the participating countries, to financially support non-profit organisations in other Member States, while benefiting directly from the tax advantages provided for in the legislation of their country of residence.
By providing such a secure and tax-effective cross-border giving framework, TGE is particularly interesting for national organisations with prospective donors abroad. Receiving tax-free contributions from foreign donors, appealing to expatriates, approaching global partners such as multinational corporations, benefiting from borderless interest in a specific cause or capitalising on global exposure offered by the internet is within arm’s reach. The TGE network enables organisations to extend fundraising to foreign countries, without having to set up branches or sister organisations for that sole purpose and without having to master different national laws.
Two concrete examples of beneficiaries using TGE are museums having donors abroad and high schools or universities relying on donations from individuals and companies and having a significant number of alumni in other countries.