Budget round-up: Changes to Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme and trading limit rise

But Chancellor Philip Hammond's speech makes no mention of a ban on online fundraising platforms taking fees from Gift Aid claimed on donations

Philip Hammond
Philip Hammond

An increase in the individual donation limit under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme and a rise in the upper limit for trading that charities can carry out without paying tax are among the Budget announcements that will affect voluntary sector organisations.

Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, also announced in his Budget speech before the House of Commons today an additional £10m of funding for air ambulances and £15m to charities and others to distribute surplus food.

Measures announced in today’s Budget affecting charities include:

- An increase from £20 to £30 in the individual donation limit for gifts made under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. It is estimated this will cost the public purse £5m a year from April 2019, when it is due to be introduced.

- A rise in the upper limit for trading that charities can carry out without paying tax, from £5,000 to £8,000 where turnover is under £20,000, and from £50,000 to £80,000 where turnover is more than £200,000.

- Charity shops that use Retail Gift Aid will be able to send letters to donors every three years rather than every year when their donations have raised less than £20 a year.

- An additional £10m of capital funding for air ambulance charities in England.

- £15m of funding for charities and other organisations to distribute surplus food.

- Up to £8m in funding towards the cost of repairs and alterations to village halls and facilities run by miners’ welfare and armed forces organisations.

- £10m to support veterans with mental health needs to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

- £1.7m to a charity to provide educational projects in schools to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camps.

But the Budget documents make no mention of changes to prevent online donation platforms from taking fees from Gift Aid claimed on donations.

Changes had been expected after Robert Jenrick, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, promised in July action on the matter "at the next opportunity" if the practice was not stopped.

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