HMRC to rethink axe on tax break on charitable land

Plans to withdraw relief to be reconsidered, says Charity Tax Group

HM Revenue & Customs has promised to rethink plans to withdraw a tax relief on land used by charity, according to the Charity Tax Group.

Helen Donoghue, director of the group, which lobbies the Government for a better deal on tax for charities, said HMRC had planned to withdraw concessions that allow land gifted to charity to be put to a different use without attracting a tax liability. But it had now decided to review those plans.

"Land is often gifted to charity on the condition that it is used for particular purposes," said Donoghue. "If that use is no longer appropriate, the land would revert to the giver's heirs. But they often prefer it to continue being used for another charitable purpose."

HMRC's existing rule means that donors and charities are spared any capital gains tax that arises in such situations. Donoghue said HMRC had been considering changing this rule on the grounds that it was not used.

"But no one has to inform HMRC if they use it," she said.

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