19 June, 2007


Delinquent Charities. One of the main advantages of registering a charity is that its income is not subject to income tax. People who donate to a charity also get tax relief on their donations. The Attorney-General is usually considered the public trustee and in charge of all charities. For him to know who they are, they have to be registered. They are obliged to prepare and to publish annual accounts. That way, the Attorney-General and any interested member of the public can check to ensure that they are spending their funds properly. Anguilla has no income tax, so charity status has no tax significance. Another consequence of our having no direct taxation on incomes is that generally speaking no business in Anguilla is required to audit its accounts. No one tells local charities that they must have their accounts audited and published. None do, that I know of.

So, I was very interested when a reader pointed me to a recent article in the Royal Gazette of Bermuda about delinquent charities. It turns out they have had a Charities Act since about 1978. Their charities have to be registered. They have to publish their accounts. If they do not, they are struck off the register. They lose their charity status. We have no charity law at all in Anguilla. Any one of us can set up as the “Blowing Point Red Cross” or the “Island Harbour Cancer Society” and persuade people to donate their money to us. We would not be breaking any written law. Not even if we spent the money on ourselves. What is even more interesting is that the article in the Royal Gazette tells us that there are over 400 registered charities in Bermuda. And, 150 of them are in trouble with the Attorney-General. They have not been filing their audited accounts. They have now been named and shamed in a report to the Senator. The Senator who called for the report has a charity of her own. Unfortunately, it is on the list of delinquent charities. No doubt, she will hasten to bring it back into good standing. That is what naming and shaming is all about.

In our case it did not work with NICA. It is a public company in which many Anguillians invested their life savings. It has been struck off the Register of Companies. The directors were named and shamed. They still have not done anything to bring that company back into good standing. When I checked a few days ago, it was still struck off the Register. Government now owns all its assets.

Is it not time the shareholders got together and wound this company up? Or, is it a charitable donation that we are making to our needy government?


  1. Let's again put some names on this NICA stupidness. You said in February "By the year 2003, according to the Annual Return filed with the Registrar of Companies, the Directors were Marcel Fahie, Kennedy Hodge, Cecil Niles, Anne Edwards, Vida C Lloyd, and Vivien Vanterpool." You added that Cecil Niles had been replaced by Calvert Carty. Most of these people have been extremely vocal in calling to our attention other, unrelated issues and problems. All of them are highly skilled in expressing themselves. What problem is concealed by their continued conspiracy of silence? Who are they protecting? Why do they continue doing this? What's in it for them?

    I hope if, in the future, I tief a pile of someone else's money, people are this charitable to me.

  2. So, my question is, since there's no income tax in Anguilla, and thus no tax deduction for contributions to charities, why is there a *need* to differentiate between any activity that takes in money and any other.

    From a libertarian perspective anyway, "charity" is, literally, a non-profit business. Isn't that what actually happens on Anguilla?

    No need to pass more laws just to say you have another law on the books that everybody ignores anyway.

    It's like the old joke: If we could just pass a few more laws, we could *all* be criminals...

  3. A company can deonate all its money for charitable purposes or it can spend it all on high salaries and director fees. Either policy can result in their non-profitability.

    If we are asked to donate to a charity, we have the right to know which kind of "non-profit" we're donating to.

    We we invested as shareholders of NICA, we have the right to know what Kennedy did with the company money.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.