Managing in a Downturn Report Reflections….

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April 11, 2014 at 15:08

Yesterday saw the launch of the seventh ‘Managing in Downturn’ report – a survey series that we have run in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising and PwC since the start of the economic downturn in 2008. The launch event itself was a lively affair with reflections of the findings from: Andrew Sentance, PwC’s Chief Economist; Mark Astarita, the IoF Chair; and our own Jane Tully. Highlights included Andrew Sentance’s weather map of the global economic outlook for 2014 (sunny intervals for the UK!) and Mark Astarita’s optimism that the baby boomer generation’s large capital assets will have significant implications […]

Research questions to get our teeth into on Gift Aid

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December 2, 2013 at 09:57

The National Audit Office has released a report on HMRC, Gift Aid and other tax reliefs on donations.  Overall it estimates the cost to the exchequer of these tax reliefs to be around £2bn, around half of which goes to charities.  One of the main findings the NAO has stressed is that there is not enough data to ascertain a causal link between Gift Aid and changes in giving behaviour.  Subsequently there is little to determine the value for money of the scheme.  Despite this, most in the sector would argue the success of the Gift Aid brand and the […]

NAO report on Gift Aid: Evidence of a lack of evidence

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November 21, 2013 at 10:44

Today the first of three long awaited reports into charity regulation and tax reliefs was issued by the NAO. This particular report, called for by the Public Accounts Committee under Margaret Hodge MP in light of the Cup Trust affair earlier this year, looks at the value for money of Gift Aid reliefs to the tax payer. Overall the report states that there is insufficient evidence to conclude value for money but makes it clear that this statement relates to current form and implementation. CFG’s initial thoughts are as follows: Data, evaluation and policy focus: We are pleased that the […]

Why charities need to respond to the SORP consultation

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October 17, 2013 at 12:11

Fraud, pledges and legacies represent just some of the key issues where the charity voice needs to be heard, says Richard Bray, Cancer Research UK. The Consultation period for the Exposure Draft of the new Charity SORP is nearly over.  This is now the crunch time as respondents finally decide what they will say in response to it.  But I can’t help but feel that far too few charities will respond.  Why is this? Perhaps it is because we feel that this is all too complicated for us and we will leave it to others and, in particular, professional firms […]

Business rate relief for charity shops in Wales: why it matters elsewhere too

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July 11, 2013 at 14:16

The business rates relief available to charities has been thrust into the spotlight of late.  As well as a number of high profile cases linking charity rate relief to tax avoidance by landlords, they have also been the subject of debate in Wales, following a report by the Business Rates Task and Finish Group commissioned by the Welsh Government. At present charities occupying commercial property are entitled to relief on business rates, provided it is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes.  This includes 80% mandatory relief funded by central government, which local, or ‘billing’ authorities can choose to top […]

FATCA: What charities need to know

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May 10, 2013 at 10:59

Eva Abeles and Melora Jezierska provide an update on the current status of FATCA legislation and its implications for the charity sector It is fair to say that FATCA (the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) has not been on the charity world’s radar as it is, after all, a piece of US tax legislation.  However, charities operating internationally should be aware of FATCA to ensure they are not inadvertently caught by the rules.  What is FATCA? FATCA is extra-territorial US legislation which seeks to combat US tax evasion in a rather heavy-handed manner.  It requires foreign financial institutions (‘FFIs’), e.g. banks, […]

VAT at 40: a win for the exchequer but a loss for the charity sector

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May 7, 2013 at 19:35

Last month, the start of a new tax year, was an unexpectedly busy one for charities, with procedural changes afoot to Gift Aid claims and PAYE, and the introduction of the new Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. Amidst this noise, a tax milestone worthy of comment almost passed us unnoticed; VAT celebrated its 40 birthday!  Given the sector’s long-standing adversarial relationship with it, it’s a timely reminder of  the VAT anomalies charities face even after 40 years. VAT has always been a hugely controversial area for charities – and is possibly the finest example of where the failure to account […]

What we’d like from George tomorrow

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March 19, 2013 at 18:33

Tomorrow the Chancellor has the unenviable task of delivering the budget.  It’s not just the contents of the infamous red box that will be revealed at 12.30, we’ll also hear the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) prognosis for the economy and the public finances – and their judgement about whether the Government is on course to meet its medium-term fiscal objective. The OBR is expected to further downgrade growth forecasts and a triple-dip recession is a high possibility. With the Chancellor’s justification for his economic programme so far – that it would enable us to keep our stellar AAA credit […]

Real Time Information: are you ready for the changes to payroll?

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March 18, 2013 at 11:09

The start of the new tax year will bring with it significant changes to the way PAYE is administered. The big question for employers is – have you been paying attention? Susan Ball, director of the Employers Advisory Group at national tax, audit and advisory firm Crowe Clark Whitehill runs through the changes coming under Real Time Information (RTI) PAYE reporting system.   HMRC wrote to all employers in early 2013 to let them know their RTI migration date. For most this is likely to be the next payment run after 06 April 2013.  What is RTI? RTI is more […]

FATCA: The facts (plus a few observations)

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December 20, 2012 at 10:50

Few people outside of the financial services industry have heard of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and even fewer would expect it to have any direct impact on UK charities. However, the early signs are that this complex piece of US legislation will add another unwanted layer of red tape to UK charity regulation.  But before delving into what it might mean for charities, here’s a brief summary of the legislative beast that is FATCA: FATCA is new US legislation aimed at combating tax evasion by US residents using foreign accounts – an uncontroversial policy goal but with […]