Tsunami charity spared an audit

The Disasters Emergency Committee has been told by HM Revenue & Customs that its £32m Gift Aid rebate claim for its 2004 tsunami appeal will not be audited.

Pat Wilson, donations manager at the DEC, told delegates at the Institute of Fundraising's policy forum on Gift Aid last week that the committee avoided an audit by working closely with HMRC during the appeal.

According to the institute, many charities don't bother to claim Gift Aid because audits can lead to prohibitive penalties. It is calling on the Government to help charities with limited incomes to claim their full entitlement.

"The costs of audits in terms of bureaucracy are outweighing the benefits of claiming Gift Aid, especially for small organisations," said Joe Saxton, chair of the institute.

"Experienced organisations with professional staff often know what to ask and how to claim."

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