CTG responds to technical consultation on Gift Aid and Intermediaries

CTG has responded to HMRC’s technical consultation on Gift Aid and Intermediaries, which makes proposals to give intermediaries, operating within the charity sector, a greater role in administering Gift Aid.

CTG’s response welcomes the Government’s commitment to simplifying the administration of Gift Aid claimed through intermediaries, hopeful that it will remove barriers to donors trying to make a Gift Aid claim. It also welcomes the fact that the changes are optional, and encourages HMRC to make this as clear as possible in all communications, once the new rules are enforced.

It stresses, however, that practical implications for charities should be proportionate, so that any increase in Gift Aid income is not negated by an additional administrative and cost burden. It is also important that the user journey is simple and not confusing for donors. For this reason, we believe that the Annual Statement should be made optional or apply only to donors making more frequent or larger donations, and that there should be a passive rather than positive confirmation process for charities confirming Gift Aid eligibility each year.

While we are confident that the new rules will work well overall for online platforms, we believe that further targeted work is needed to improve the process for claiming Gift Aid on SMS-giving.  We consider that this is where the greater benefits of changes in this area can lie.  We also encourage the Government to give serious consideration to broadening the applicability of the rules to allow a single Gift Aid declaration to be applicable to all intermediaries and consider the long-term viability of introducing changes that are consistent with the aspirations of having a Universal Gift Aid Declaration Database.

HMRC has since published an annex to its Gift Aid guidance, setting out how the Gift Aid declaration authorisation process for Gift Aid intermediaries works. The process aims to make it easier for donors who give through digital channels, such as online platforms and SMS text messaging, to Gift Aid their donations, by enabling the donor intermediary to create Gift Aid declarations on the donor’s behalf for that donor’s gifts in the rest of the tax year. Read more here.