What did we learn from the latest Charity Tax Stats?

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May 1, 2015 at 12:17

Blink and you probably missed it, but yesterday, HMRC produced its update to the Charity Tax Statistics for 2014-15. While this might not sound important, they are an important window into the finances of the charity sector. Here are three things that charities should take away from the statistics: 1.    There is still a lot of potential to grow Gift Aid The NAO believes that £2.3bn of donations are currently not being claimed for Gift Aid, so it is pleasing to see the amount of Gift Aid being paid out to charities increased by £130m to £1.2bn in 2014-15. CFG […]

Gift Aid could be the key to encouraging a culture of giving

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April 8, 2015 at 10:21

Charities Aid Foundation has released its latest UK Giving report for 2014 which provides an excellent insight into the state of giving and donations in the UK. One of the key lessons that I believe that we should take from the report, however, is that more needs to be done to encourage a culture of charitable giving in the UK – one of the key asks from the sector in the latest Managing in a New Normal report. This is particularly important for young people. A lot has been written in recent months about the need for the sector to do more to […]

#volsecbudget – What should charities look out for?

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March 17, 2015 at 10:51

Tomorrow will mark the last Budget of this Parliament, and already a great deal has been trailed in the media from inheritance tax cuts to raising the personal allowance. Charity Finance Group coordinated a letter with other sector bodies at the start of the month to ask the Chancellor to tackle a number of issues such as Gift Aid, Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, VAT and capacity building for the sector. But what should charities be looking out for tomorrow when the Mr Osborne stands up at 12.30 after PMQs? Here are a few things that we think may interest […]

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 […]

Digital giving and gift aid: Our response

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September 27, 2013 at 14:27

Gift Aid enthusiasts have had a lot to chew over the past few months, with proposals on the table from HMRC and the Treasury to make Gift Aid work better for online and text donations. As people increasingly use online and mobile platforms for donating, the current paper based system for Gift Aid is showing its age. Therefore we welcomed the Government’s consultation on Gift Aid and Digital Giving, which seeks to address this challenge and some of the wider cracks in the Gift Aid system. In our response, CFG and NCVO urged the Government to seize this opportunity to […]

The Gift Aid declaration – what’s the big deal?

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August 9, 2013 at 12:18

The Gift Aid declaration has long been a prickly issue for charities tasked with squeezing it onto fundraising forms – and one we have spent countless hours debating with HMRC at the Charity Tax Forum.  The declaration is needed as Gift Aid is a tax relief (rather than public expenditure) and HMRC need to be able to ensure that Gift Aid claimed on specific donations can be linked back to the donor’s tax affairs.   However, the length of the statement, requirement to collect  and reference to no less than four different forms of taxation (income tax, capital gains tax, council […]

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 […]

Countdown to Charities Online: Gift Aid – Are your plans in place?

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February 4, 2013 at 15:44

Tania Cohen gives her take on the big changes in Gift Aid due this Spring… The changes From April 2013 a new system for claiming Gift Aid repayments will start replacing the current R68(i) claim process. The “print and post” repayment form will be replaced with three new options for charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs to claim payments, with the options available largely based on the size of the claims. Submitting claims electronically will have a range of benefits. Claims will get processed quicker, while saving postal costs. The new service will be more accurate, with built-in checks that will […]

Gift Aid without the paperwork… worth the risk!

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August 10, 2012 at 14:59

My edition of the textbook, ‘What Works’, has gathered a convincing layer of dust of late.  With a title reference to rhetoric on ‘evidence-based policy’, once a critical companion to my studies, the book now has a feeling of an old relic from the past.   Looking at recent proposals, many in the charity sector have asked whether we have lost something in terms of attempting to frame policy decisions within a sound evidence base.  It may sometimes be rhetoric, but surely it helps focus decisions on ‘what works’. Clear policy objectives and direction are difficult to identify among an untidy […]