New Gift Aid Declaration: What do you need to know?

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October 22, 2015 at 16:03

HMRC has today published a new Gift Aid Declaration which all charities that claim Gift Aid will need to be using by the 6th April 2016. So what do you need to know and, more importantly, what do you need to do?

Tackling some myths on the Spending Review

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September 10, 2015 at 17:21

If you listen very carefully when you walk down Whitehall you’ll hear the grumblings and table thumping of officials as they prepare for the Spending Review due to be announced on the 25th November 2015. The Spending Review is very much akin to a ‘super’ Autumn Statement, it is a review of all public spending to ensure that it meets the government’s priorities in an efficient and cost-effective way over this Parliament. Despite government spending cuts, the voluntary sector received £13.3bn in income from government grants and contracts (local, national and international). So this is going to be an incredibly […]

Public benefit is at the core of both charities and the tax system

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August 13, 2015 at 09:45

Some of you may have read a recent column in the Financial Times by its Money Week Editor, Merryn Somerset Webb entitled “Charity should not begin with a tax break (£)”. As a sector we are used to having to defend our privileged status, and we should never forget that it is a privilege, in the tax system. Most readers will remember the NCVO & CAF campaign “Give it back, George” that successfully got the last Coalition government to exclude charitable donations from a cap on personal tax reliefs. Only last year, we had to defend attempts to redefine a […]

Financial sustainability won’t be easy for the charity sector

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July 22, 2015 at 09:48

Today, has seen the launch of the review into the financial sustainability of the voluntary sector, conducted by CFG, NCVO, Institute of Fundraising, Locality, NAVCA and Small Charities Coalition. It has been a long piece of work, involving a call for evidence from the voluntary sector, with more than 100 charities responding to a detailed survey; pouring over existing statistics, synthesising various strands of research and forecasting the future of the sector’s finances. The full report, which you can download here, is a wakeup call for the charity sector, government and funders. Although the economy appears on the road to […]

Some lessons from HMRC’s Higher Rate Gift Aid Donors report

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July 17, 2015 at 09:30

HMRC has published some research that it had commissioned on understanding charitable giving and Gift Aid behaviour amongst better-off individuals. Although I am not convinced that this was the best use of HMRC’s budget (see below), there are some lessons that we can learn from this research – despite the small sample size. Here are a few things to take away from HMRC’s research: We need to improve public awareness of Gift Aid Despite the individuals being interviewed earning significant amounts and potentially claiming thousands of pounds worth of Gift Aid, it is concerning that many participants were confused about […]

Welfare and employment dominate the Budget: What does this mean for charities?

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July 8, 2015 at 14:59

So we didn’t do that well with our bingo card – only ‘long term economic plan’, ‘£9 minimum wage target’, ‘fixing the roof whilst the sun is shining’ and the name dropping of a charity came up. Whilst the budget report does not have a section dedicated to the charity sector, there are a number of measures announced that will have an impact on charity finance which I will outline here. Keep an eye out for our briefing which will be posted on our website in due course. Profile of the cuts £17 billion of cuts were announced in today’s […]

#volsecbudget 2015 – CFG Live Blog

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July 8, 2015 at 09:12

09/07/2015 – 19:16 – AF This afternoon I attended the IFS post-budget briefing. Given the scale of the changes introduced it covered a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time so will I provide a more detailed update later. But for now, I am going to briefly summarise the key issues that I think are relevant to charity finance. I do also recommend that you take a look at the materials available on their website. The opening remarks made by director of the IFS, Paul Johnson, neatly provides the IFS’s over-arching narrative: that it is hard to see […]

How to avoid errors when claiming tax reliefs

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June 22, 2015 at 10:10

Nearly 70,000 charities claim tax reliefs worth billions every year. However common errors not only create problems for charities, but increase the costs for HMRC, creating delays and diverting funding that could go towards promoting the tax reliefs towards helping people to fill out their claim forms. Last year, HMRC provided a helpful ‘Top Tips’ sheet which charities can use to make the claiming process smoother. However, here is a quick overview of some of the top errors and some tips for avoiding them. Common errors when claiming 1. Duplicating the amounts of Gift Aid and Gift Aid Small Donations […]

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 […]

Manifesto Watch 2015: Labour

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April 13, 2015 at 17:09

CFG’s analysis of the party manifestos starts with Labour, which unveiled its manifesto today. Britain can be better – The Labour Party Manifesto 2015 Summary of policies affecting charities: Sector-wide Support for charities and social enterprises in creating social value and supporting the social economy Large companies to publish gender pay gaps National Minimum Wage to be raised to £8 an hour by October 2019 Supporting the Living Wage through government procurement, alongside wider social impact considerations Cutting and then freezing business rates Repeal the Lobbying Act Local government Multi-year budgets for local authorities Local Public Accounts Committees to be […]