Chancellor announces measures aimed at improving take-up of Gift Aid

Today's Autumn Statement promises a raft of new initiatives, including easier access to the tax relief and a revised model declaration

Gift Aid declaration form
Gift Aid declaration form

The government has promised to help develop new promotional materials aimed at increasing the take up of Gift Aid.

Documents released as part of today’s Autumn Statement say that the government wants "as many eligible donations as possible to attract Gift Aid".

The papers also say that the government will set up a new working group to revise the model Gift Aid declaration in order to make it easier to understand.

They restate the government’s intention to allow intermediaries, expected to include giving platforms such as JustGiving, a greater role in operating Gift Aid in order to reduce the number of declarations donors must complete.

The Treasury proposed in a consultation published in July that donors should be allowed to make a single Gift Aid declaration for each method of digital giving.

The consultation also proposed a shorter declaration form.

The government said today that having studied feedback from charities in the summer, it would consult further on how the declaration could be simplified before changing the legislation.

Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and research at the Institute of Fundraising, said his organisation was pleased that the government would be looking again at the declaration.

"We think getting this right could have a positive impact and make it easier for charities to get more Gift Aid declarations and increase the amount of money going to good causes," he said.

The documents confirm that community amateur sports clubs will be able to claim Gift Aid on donations from companies from April.

They also say that the government will introduce legislation making it clear that partial relief from stamp duty land tax will be available where a charity purchases a property jointly with a non-charity.

The charity will be able to claim relief in line with the proportion of the purchase that it made. The change will come into effect once the Finance Bill 2014 passes through parliament.

The documents say that the government will amend legislation concerning the Cultural Gifts Scheme, which allows the giving of pre-eminent objects, or items associated with historic buildings, in return for tax relief, to ensure that estate duty is included where appropriate.

The scheme, which was announced by the government in its Autumn Statement 2011, enables the donor to benefit from a reduction in income tax or capital gains liability of 30 per cent of the donated object’s value.

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