A number of written questions have been asked in Parliament in recent weeks, pertaining to elements of charity tax, which may be of interest to members.
Tax relief for charitable donations
Responding to a written question from Peter Dowd MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride highlighted the numbers of people receiving relief from SDLT on transfers of land to charities over the last three years:
Peter Dowd: “To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people received a relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax on transfers to charities in (a) 2015-16, (b) 2016-17 and (c) 2017-18.”
Mel Stride: “The table below shows the number of land and property transactions which claimed relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax for each of the requested categories. A single transaction can be made by one or more individuals, or one or more non-natural persons.”
Estimates of the number of transactions claiming reliefs from SDLT
c) Apr – Oct 2017
Transfers to charities
Transfers to registered social landlords
Transfers involving multiple dwellings
Regarding income tax relief on charitable donations in each year since 2010, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury responded:
Mel Stride: “The number of people who received Income Tax relief for donations to charity by tax year is given in the table below. These estimates are based on the respective Survey of Personal Incomes for each tax year.
Tax year People (thousands) 2010-11 508 2011-12 585 2012-13 663 2013-14 733 2014-15 739 2015-16 767
“For the tax year 2016-17, I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given on 27 June which remains as the latest estimate. In this answer the previous estimate for 2014-15 has been revised following a small change in methodology, and the previous estimate for 2015-16 has been updated following the receipt of the latest outturn data.”
Regarding the receipt of relief from VAT on supplies to charities in the last three years, however, Mel Stride has not been able to give details:
Peter Dowd: “To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people received relief from VAT on supplies to charities in (a) 2015-16, (b) 2016-17 and (c) 2017-18.”
Mel Stride: “The details that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) collects from taxpayers on their VAT returns are not specific enough to provide the number of people benefiting from this relief. HMRC does not require this level of detail because it would place a considerable administrative burden on businesses.”
Employee Share Incentive Plans
Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen has responded to a written question from Sir Michael Fallon MP, regarding allowing small residual share incentive plan balances to be donated to charity.
Sir Michael Fallon: “To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to increase charitable giving by allowing small residual share incentive plan balances to be donated to charity.”
John Glen: “Share Incentive Plans allow employees to receive shares in their employer and benefit from Income Tax, National Insurance, and Capital Gains Tax reliefs. There are no current plans to make changes to Share Incentive Plans. The government keeps all areas of the tax system under review.
“The dormant assets scheme enables a portion of funds from dormant accounts held by participating bank and building societies to be distributed to good causes via a central reclaim fund. The Government recently issued its response to the independent Commission of Dormant Assets, and is working with industry to consider how the scheme could be expanded to include a broader range of financial assets.”