Tax adviser Deloitte & Touche has said that a Treasury initiative to boost donations by allowing self-assessment taxpayers to direct tax rebates to specific charities needs to be extended more widely to the general public.
Under plans announced in last month's Budget, taxpayers will be able to nominate a charity to receive all or part of any repayment through their tax returns.
"This is a step in the right direction to encourage more donations to charities," said Richard Baldwin, tax partner at Deloitte & Touche. "The scheme will benefit both taxpayer and charity. Taxpayers will be able to donate tax refunds with a minimum of effort and charities will see a boost in donations. However, the challenge now lies in making taxpayers aware of this option."
The firm says that the Inland Revenue needs to ensure that taxpayers who do not fill out their own tax returns are also included in the scheme.
"There's a large part of the population who rely on their employers to do this administration for them. It is these individuals who could potentially miss out on the opportunity the Inland Revenue is offering," said Baldwin.