Charity Tax Group canvasses ideas for streamlining of Gift Aid

Proposals include electronic storing of donor information to cut costs and reduce the fear of audits

Helen Donoghue
Helen Donoghue

Gift Aid could be streamlined by allowing charities to store donors' declarations electronically instead of on paper, according to the Charity Tax Group.

The proposal is one of the ideas for reducing the administrative burden of Gift Aid contained in a paper circulated to members by the group, which lobbies for a better tax deal for charities.

The CTG says HM Revenue & Customs could develop databases of donors who had declared themselves to be taxpayers so that Gift Aid claims could be filed more easily by charities.

The paper said this would save on administration and costs for small charities and would remove the "fear factor" of a Gift Aid audit.

The paper also suggests allowing supporters involved in fundraising events to certify that sponsors giving small amounts are taxpayers without further checks having to be made.

"The concept is that there are levels of individual gifts, related to sponsored events, where the administrative effort of capturing detailed and accurate information about sponsors outweighs any comfort levels this gives to government," the paper says.

It adds that charities should be allowed to make Gift Aid claims online and that HMRC's self-assessment tax return, which invites people to donate any tax they are owed, should allow them to nominate more than one charity. It also suggests that people who are no longer earning enough to pay tax could make donations for which Gift Aid would come from tax they paid in earlier years.

Helen Donoghue, director of the Charity Tax Group, said these reforms could be carried out without wholesale changes to the Gift Aid system.


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