Charity tax statistics 2017-18

HMRC has published the charity tax statistics relating to the tax year 2017-18.

The statistics indicate that:

  • the total amount of tax relief claimed by charities is provisionally estimated at £3.62bn, an increase from £3.4bn the previous year.
  • the amount of Gift Aid claimed by charities was £1.26bn, down from £1.27bn the previous year.
  • the amount of income tax relief on other charitable income (which can include bank and building society interest, interest from government stocks, income from wayleaves, royalties, estate income and discretionary trust income) was £10m in line with the previous year.
  • 72,200 charities claimed Gift Aid in the year, an increase of 220 on the previous year.
  • 150 charities claimed £1m+ and in total claimed £580m, while 50,740 charities claimed <£5k, worth a total of £60m.
  • the amount claimed by charities under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme stayed at £30m a year.
  • Charity relief (mandatory and discretionary) from national non-domestic rates (England, Wales and Scotland) increased to £2.09bn up from £1.91bn the previous year (a figure that has been updated since last year’s statistics were published).
  • Stamp duty land tax was worth £250m to charities, up from £220m in 2016/17.
  • Total relief for individuals is £1.46bn, an increase from £1.44bn the previous year.
  • Gifts of shares and property were worth £70m, which is identical to the previous year, and payroll giving tax relief was worth £40m, which is consistent with every year since 2011/12 (although this figure has not been verified due to a lack of data, with further updates to follow)
  • for individuals, inheritance tax relief in 2017/18 was at £860m, compared with £840m the previous year, and higher-rate relief was £490m, consistent with the previous year (although this figure has been updated since last year).

Statistics on VAT relief for charities will no longer be published by HMRC due to difficulties in verifying the statistics. The previous estimate was £400m a year.

Detailed commentary by HMRC on the newly published charity tax statistics can be found here.

CTG Chairman John Hemming commented:

“The statistics show the continued importance of tax reliefs to charities, although it is important to remember that charities do still pay a lot of tax, including significant amounts of irrecoverable VAT.

“We are pleased to see that Gift Aid income is at a similar level but it shows that more can be done to maximise this important relief through improved promotion and donor understanding. CTG’s Gift Aid practical issues working group is also working to ensure that charity Gift Aid teams have the support and advice they need to manage their claims most effectively. The lack of an increase in the take-up of GASDS is disappointing although hopefully some of the recent changes will make an impact next year. Increasing the eligible donation to £30, in line with the contactless limit, would be an obvious next step that should increase the attractiveness and practicality of the Scheme.

“The continued increase in the value of non-domestic rates relief for charities shows the vital importance of the current mandatory and discretionary rate relief and the importance of its continued protection. It is disappointing that HMRC is no longer able to provide accurate estimates of the value of VAT reliefs for charities as this is very valuable information.