From Charity Tax Group (CTG):
CTG’s lobbying and influencing work has continued to produce positive results. We have submitted responses to eight consultations to HMRC and other organisations, including the Office for Tax Simplification and the Law Family Commission on Civil Society.
- Maximising COVID grants for charities: After nine months of concerted lobbying, COVID-19 business grant allowances were increased by the Government. Charities with substantial property retail, hospitality and leisure property portfolios, have been able to access up to £1m of extra funding with an additional £9m available if a range of eligibility criteria are met. The UK Government previously applied EU state aid rules that denied access to potentially business saving lockdown grants. A CTG-led coalition successfully called on the Chancellor to increase the limits as EU restrictions no longer applied. CTG has also led on the interpretation of complex rules, enabling large charity retailers in particular, to recognise these grants as income to which they are entitled.
- Future of Gift Aid project: The Future of Gift Aid project aims to harness the benefits of new technology and data sharing capabilities to maximise the value of Gift Aid claims made by charities. This CTG-led initiative involves charities, HMRC and intermediaries (such as JustGiving) working together. It will help unlock £560m of Gift Aid that is unclaimed each year and reduce the £180m of Gift Aid claimed in error. Recently CTG has been involved with a presentation of the project’s work to HMRC’s head of charity policy. The progress of the project has been highlighted by the Office for Tax Simplification as a positive case study for sharing of third-party data. The project is reviewing all aspects of Gift Aid including an overdue overhaul of Gift Aid guidance to enable donors, for example, to have a better understanding of how Gift Aid works.
- Making Tax Digital for Corporation Tax: Under new proposals a vast number of charities would be forced to report to HMRC each year for the first time. This would result in additional costs and administration, with little apparent benefit. As a direct result of our consultation response, HMRC has engaged directly with CTG over the development of the new system.
- Extension of Gift Aid to Waived Refunds and Loan Repayments: HMRC has now confirmed that any waivers of refunds, including waivers of loans to charities, can count as a donations which are eligible for Gift Aid. This applies as long as the agreement to waive the loan/right to a refund is clear and irrevocable. CTG is working with HMRC to design a template agreement to enable charities to apply this in practice. This positive development provides a new fundraising opportunity for charities.