ON OUR OWN BEHALF -- December 12th, 2012
Charitable status of the
Wau Holland Foundation
With a letter from the Hamburg tax authorities the Wau Holland Foundation
regains its charitable status (tax exemption) beginning from the year 2011.
Therefore all donations (EU-wide) from the years 2011 and 2012 can are tax deductable
for the donators.
Please note that for donations of less than 200€ per year you don't need a
specific donation receipt from us to have your donation tax decductable. All you need
to do is to pass your money transfer receipt and the so-called
to your local tax authorities.
For donations of 200€ and more per year please use the
web form to request your donation receipt.
We will try to process your request as soon as possible.
Donations to Wau Holland Foundation tax-deductable EU-wide
As Tax exemption (charitable status) is granted again to WHF from 2011 onwards,
you, as an European citizen, will be able to donate to the foundation
and in addition, write it off your income tax. This is because of a ruling of the
European Court in 2009 (Decision C‑318_07), which mandates that every EU country
must honor the tax exemption decision of any other EU country.
ON OUR OWN BEHALF -- November 5th, 2012
Charitable status of the
Wau Holland Foundation
History of the revocation
The fiscal authorities in Kassel revoked 
the charitable status of the Wau Holland Foundation (WHF) after an intervention by
the Hessian Ministry of the Interior
towards the end of 2010. As the reason for this decision, the authorities stated
that the foundation violated the "principle of selflessness" by collecting
donations and financing the "WikiLeaks" project.
Under the "principle of selflessness (§ 55 AO)", a foundation
may not primarily pursue economic (commercial) purposes, but can only use the money
to further their own goals. The withdrawal of the charitable status by the fiscal
authorities is difficult to understand for two reasons. First, the tax office had
not received any accounting records from the year 2010 at all which would justify
such a decision. Second, the RP Kassel as supervisory authority issued a press release
 in early December that made it clear that the promotion of
WikiLeaks is in accordance to the statutes of the Foundation.
Perhaps this is why the fiscal authorities in Hamburg, which inherited
the controversial procedure after the relocation of the Foundation, changed the reasoning
and pursued the case as a "violation of the principle of immediacy (§ 57 AO)" instead.
Auditing and legal procedure
The WHF commissioned a law firm specializing in foundation and tax law
to represent their interests and put an objection against the decision .
In subsequent proceedings, there was an audit of whether the Foundation had met the "requirement
of immediacy" in 2010; the question of whether the foundation spent its money according to its
statutes was no longer in dispute.
The "principle of immediacy" allows a non-profit organization to engage
auxiliary staff to achieve its goals, but requires that it must establish traceable and
binding control procedures.
In late 2009 and early 2010 the WHF had negotiated oral agreements with the
"WikiLeaks" project; these arrangements were written down in a contract with a WikiLeaks
project manager at the end of 2010. The written contract defined the objectives, responsibilities
and the control processes for receiving money from the foundation. Although the spirit this
contract had been adhered to by all parties involved throughout the whole of 2010, the tax office
does not acknowledge that the immediacy was preserved and rejected our appeal against the decision
after an 18 month audit .
To finally bring and end to these proceedings after all this time, the WHF
agreed with the tax office in Hamburg not to further appeal against this rejection 
and to regain charitable status for the year 2011 and beyond.
We have learned through this process what contractual conditions are needed to
finance projects of the foundation. Unfortunately we must inform all donors from 2010 that their
donations are not tax deductible. Nevertheless, these donations were used for the purposes
specified by the donor.
When we receive the promised charitable status from the tax office, we can send
out donation receipts for the years 2011 and 2012. For donations up to 200,- Euro (accumulated),
it is sufficient for the donor to present the payment document together with the charitable status document,
which can then be downloaded from this website.
The projects that are promoted by the Wau Holland Foundation can be found by clicking
We appreciate every donation; click here to see how you can
donate. For questions about donations please contact us using our contact form.
- Entzug der Gemeinnützigkeit durch das FA Kassel (2011-01-07)
- Emails zwischen Innenministerium und Regierungspräsidium
- Innenminster an Stiftungsaufsicht (2010-12-10)
- Stiftungsaufsicht an Innenminister (2010-12-16)
- Innenminister an Stiftungsaufsicht (2011-01-05)
- Presseerklärung des RP Kassel (2011-01-07)
- Einspruch gegen den Finanzamtsbescheid (2011-01-11)
- Einspruchsentscheidung des Finanzamts Hamburg-Nord (2012-10-25)
- Klageverzicht der WHS (2012-10-29)