Debate: Are conditions for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme too restrictive?

The scheme faces criticism from sector leaders, who say it is subject to too many rules and regulations

Gift Aid
Gift Aid

Cath Lee, chief executive, Small Charities CoalitionMany small charities are either not aware of or do not claim Gift Aid. They do not necessarily have large numbers of donors or other forms of 'Gift-Aidable' income. For these, and tiny charities raising annual incomes of £5,000 mainly from small cash donations, an additional £1,250 could be a significant benefit. To have to sign up to the Gift Aid scheme and then operate it for three consecutive years to benefit, erodes the initial policy objectives of increasing income to the sector and particularly to those charities the government considers central to the big society agenda.

Cath Lee, chief executive, Small Charities Coalition

John Preston, national stewardship and resources officer, Church of EnglandThe Church of England expects the scheme to be a real help to local churches and charities. Getting Gift Aid declarations on the cash offered in church collections or in bucket collections has been almost impossible in the past. We understand HMRC's desire to ensure that the scheme is not abused and support putting in place some verification requirements for charities to enter the scheme and make sure it is simple to operate. £1,250 may not be a large amount to the big charities, but to small local charities this will be a real boost.

John Preston, national stewardship and resources officer, Church of England

Barry Gower, managing director, Gift Aid consultancy GainThe following contribution was corrected on June 12 - please see note at the end.

The eligibility requirements are far too restrictive. I believe that they should be based on existing structures already used by HMRC, such as self-assessment. Charities wishing to participate in the GASDS would require registration, as used previously with self-assessment. HMRC could also have a banding system where charities with lower income from individual giving would have less restrictive requirements. Trends and tracking that are used by HMRC to reveal out of the ordinary or fraudulent behaviour could similarly be implemented here.

Barry Gower, managing director, Gift Aid consultancy Gain

  • The end of the third sentence should read "as used previously with self-assessment giving."  Apologies for this editing error.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus