The Charity Tax Group has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking for tax measures to be relaxed immediately to help the voluntary sector through the coronavirus pandemic, including allowing charities to keep Gift Aid for cancelled events.
The letter to Rishi Sunak, sent yesterday, says charities should be able to retain Gift Aid for any payments originally made for events that have now been cancelled, and also able to claim Gift Aid on donations received through Facebook and similar operators.
Charities should get 100 per cent business rates relief for the 2020/21 tax year, CTG says in the letter, and there should be flexibility over tax deadlines and administration during the Covid-19 crisis.
The letter adds that the government should confirm simplified audit processes for Gift Aid on text donations because they are likely to increase during the quarantine period. It says no HM Revenue & Customs action should be taken to collect VAT on digital advertising by charities during the crisis.
“Charity offices are being closed, impacting on communication with staff and beneficiaries and the delivery of key charitable services and support functions,” the letter says.
“Charity income is also under severe pressure, particularly now that they have been advised to avoid public fundraising for the foreseeable future.
“Charities need government support to be able to continue their valuable contribution to society at the time when it is most needed.”
The CTG has set up an information hub for charity tax and finance professionals, which can be found here.