Many charities being charged too much on energy bills

There's new evidence that charities are overpaying on their energy bills.

Research for ITV News shows many good causes are paying too much VAT on the power they use. Our findings show charities face a big problem when it comes to reclaiming overpayments that can be thousands of pounds.

The energy companies say it's not their fault, the HMRC says it's a matter of government policy - and caught in the mess are charities that are paying too much on their energy bills.

Charities are entitled to a discount on VAT and the climate change levy that adds up to 20% of a bill. Our research of more than 100 charities shows around a third don't know about it and believe they may be overpaying.

VAT on energy bills reduces from 20% to 5% for registered charities. Credit: ITV News

We have spoken to charities who have overpaid for many years - some by tens of thousands of pounds.

When they try to claim back the overpayments many get a shock. They can only reclaim up to 4 years - the rest is lost.

Charities can only reclaim on the bills up to 4 years. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Charities tell me they can't understand why their energy company doesn't spot they have charitable status - after all it is often obvious from the title of the organisation.

The energy industry says they want to be as helpful as possible but can't act if they don't have all the information. The tax office says it's restrained by the rules.

This situation can't go on. Today we are putting online all the information a charity needs to check it's paying the right amount.

If you are part of a good cause or know others that are - please raise this important alert before another pound is overpayed.

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