Government promises action on charity tax-avoidance loophole

Chancellor George Osborne has used his Autumn Statement to announce a tightening of the law to prevent the use of charitable status for tax avoidance

George Osborne
George Osborne

The government has promised to change the law aimed at preventing charities from being used for tax avoidance, documents released as part of today’s Autumn Statement show.

The documents, released alongside the speech made in parliament by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, say that the government will introduce new legislation to amend the definition of a charity for tax purposes "to put beyond doubt that entities established for the purpose of tax avoidance are not entitled to claim charitable tax reliefs".

The documents also say that the government will set up a new working group to revise the model Gift Aid declaration and publish promotional material to increase take-up.

The government will also carry out a further consultation in January on making changes to Gift Aid in order to allow intermediaries to take a greater role in operating the scheme.

The documents also say that it will enlarge its proposals for social investment tax relief to include social impact bonds issued by companies limited by shares.

The government promised to publish a "roadmap for social investment" in January.

Osborne also promised that £100m of fines of banks over the Libor rate-rigging scandal will be given to armed-forces charities.

For further coverage of the autumn statement, look out for Third Sector’s special bulletin later this afternoon.

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