Responding to the publication of UK charity tax statistics for 2015-16, CTG Chairman John Hemming commented:
Today’s statistics highlight the vital ongoing importance of Gift Aid to charities and donors and it is encouraging to see that overall tax relief to charities increasing slightly against what is an uncertain future financial backdrop for the sector. Gift Aid is the lifeblood of many charities and now worth over £1m a year to over 150 charities. At the same time approximately 50,000 charities claim less than £5,000 a year, income that is equally important for them as they manage on limited resources. CTG will continue to work with officials to ensure that Gift Aid is fit for purpose using modern technology and giving platforms, seeking to ensure that the levels of eligible Gift Aid claimed continues to increase.
With the future of the VAT system under scrutiny following the EU referendum, CTG calls on the UK Government to make a clear commitment to preserve the invaluable VAT reliefs enjoyed by charities and consider structural reform of the VAT system to remove the distorting effects of irrecoverable VAT.
While the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme has increased it is still experiencing far lower take-up than was originally envisaged. We await next year’s statistics to see whether the increased limits from April 2016 and the proposed reforms to the Scheme, including a relaxation of the Gift Aid history requirement, will help to widen its accessibility, particularly among smaller charities.
Mandatory business rates relief for charities is evidently hugely important to the sector and we welcome the Government’s commitment earlier this year to protect it as part of the wider reform of the business rates system.
Notes for editors
The Charity Tax Group (CTG) has over 500 members of all sizes representing all types of charitable activity. It was set up in 1982 to make representations to Government on charity taxation and it has since become the leading voice for the sector on this issue. CTG has persuaded successive Governments to introduce a range of tax reliefs and has also campaigned successfully to protect existing concessions, saving charities a considerable amount of money in the process.
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