Charity tax statistics 2019-20

HMRC has published the charity tax statistics relating to the tax year 2019-20. This data was originally due to be published in June 2020 but was delayed by COVID-19.

A CTG spokesperson commented:

“The latest 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 almost £2bn of irrecoverable VAT, as highlighted in CTG’s research report last year.

“We are pleased to see that the amount of Gift Aid claimed by charities has increased to £1.4bn, but it is disappointing to see that the total number of charities claiming Gift Aid has reduced slightly. Efforts to promote Gift Aid and improve donor understanding are ongoing and CTG is working closely with charities and digital experts to ensure that Gift Aid is future-proofed. Rates relief continues to be the most valuable relief for charities, but this comes against a backdrop of higher rates bills and an ongoing squeeze on discretionary reliefs. This will need to be monitored closely as the relief is vital for many charities to be able to deliver services and support their beneficiaries.

“Clearly these statistics only apply to the pre-COVID period and it seems likely that there could be significant deviations in claims and reliefs during the pandemic. Tax reliefs are more important than ever and vital for charity cashflow at times when income is under severe pressure but many fixed costs remain. CTG continues to call for a temporary increase in Gift Aid to support charities’ recovery from the pandemic and also for a clear confirmation that charitable rates relief will be protected as part of the Fundamental Review of Business Rates in England. In the light of Brexit the Government should also be giving serious consideration to extending VAT reliefs to charities, including a reduced rate of VAT for charity purchases.” 

The statistics indicate that:

  • Total relief for charities and individuals is £5.72bn an increase from £5.5bn the previous year
  • Total charity relief is £4.03bn, an increase from £3.9bn the previous year 
  • Gift Aid claimed by charities is up £50m to £1.4bn
    • The £1.4bn of Gift Aid claimed came from eligible donations worth £5.6bn.
    • There were claims from 71,350 charities down from £73,050 the previous year
    • 160 charities claimed £1m+ Gift Aid (a total of £670m) & 49,240 charities claimed <£5k (a total of £60m)
  • Royalties and interest income is £10m
  • UK non-domestic rates relief is to £2.34bn (this includes mandatory and discretionary relief
  • GASDS is remains at £40m (albeit rounded to the nearest £10m)
  • SDLT relief is £280m, up by £40m on the previous year
  • Total relief for individuals is £1.65bn, an increase from £1.56bn the previous year
  • Inheritance Tax (IHT) relief for donors is £1bn an increase from £920m the previous year
  • Payroll giving stays at £40m
    • Just over a million people donated through payroll giving
    • The gross amount donated was £132m, similar to the previous year
  • Gifts of shares and property relief is £80m up slightly from £70m in the previous year
  • Higher rate relief is £540m, up slightly from £530m the previous year.

NB: a number of figures for 2018-19 have been updated since they were first published

Corporation tax relief (MGETR/Orchestra Tax Relief/Theatre Tax Relief etc) statistics are published separately, as are Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) figures.

The value of VAT reliefs are no longer published, but CTG has undertaken a detailed analysis of charities and the VAT system, including the scale of reliefs and the cost of irrecoverable VAT read more here.