Treasury Gift Aid Forum: The Report

By Kevin Russell | 13 October 2010 | Comments (1)

By Kevin Russell, Technical Director.


The Treasury’s Gift Aid Forum, on which I was Stewardship’s representative, finally reported today. Well, maybe not. The charity sector is a very diverse one, which is one of its great strengths. But is also means Forum members both agreed and disagreed on a wide range of issues from minor administrative reforms through to major proposals such as calling for the extension of Gift Aid transitional relief, due to end next April, and the introduction of a ‘composite rate’ of relief in place of the current basic rate and higher rate taxpayer reliefs. Neither made it through to the final report for sound, but technical or political, reasons.

In a way, it was inevitable that such a diverse sector would not reach widespread agreement on the content or priorities for such a report. So it was a relief in a way, when late in the process, the Justine Greening, the Treasury Minister, asked Peter Fanning, the Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Tax to prepare and present an independent Report on the proceedings of the Forum. He sent his report to the Minister today.

But what were sector representatives able to agree on? Well quite a lot. First off, we are anxious to make it clear that Gift Aid is a valuable relief and the work on reform should not be taken as a sign that it is ‘broken’. It isn’t. But there are ways that it can be improved such as facilitating electronic recording of Declarations, being able to file Gift Aid claims online, and more mundane things like having greater clarity over how Gift Aid applies to donations from couples when only one member of the couple is a taxpayer. The points that we were able to unite around are set out in three page summary   signed by Stewardship and a coalition of charity partners: NCVO, Charities Tax Group, CAF, IOF, Arts and Business and the Small Charities Coalition.

Do you have thoughts on how take up of Gift Aid can be improved? What do you find most difficult or irksome? Add your comments below.

Posted by Kevin Russell

Our Legal Eagle guru and Stewardship's Technical Director, Kevin constantly has his finger on the pulse of all things tax and charity law-related. His briefing papers for charities, churches and individuals are an invaluable resource on everything from VAT to Gift Aid. 


David Goodman

October 18, 2010 5:56 PM
I note that nothing is said about the loss of the Transitional Relief payments, which are due to finish next April. Has anything been said about this, or have I missed it?

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