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Big changes to Gift Aid donations

21 December 2012

A BILL that the Government has said will "reduce the burden on charities" passed through the House of Lords on Tuesday evening.

The Small Charitable Donations Bill legislates for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS), which was announced by the Chancellor, George Osborne, in last year's Budget ( News, 25 March 2011). It allows charities to claim "top-up payments", similar to Gift Aid, on donations of £20 or less, up to a total of £5000 a year per charity, without a need for donors to fill in forms.

During the Bill's Third Reading in the House of Commons last month, amendments that would have allowed the GASDS to apply to non-cash payments, such as text messages, failed to get through.

The Treasury did, however, agree to reduce the time a charity had to have made Gift Aid declarations to be eligible for GASDS, from four to two years; it also increased the matching ratio from 2:1 to 10:1, which means that a charity need have claimed only 10p in Gift Aid to claim £1 from GASDS.

Gift Aid change. From April, churches and charities will be required to submit Gift Aid claims to HMRC using a new internet service, "Charities Online". This will replace the current R68(i) Gift Aid and tax-repayments claims form.

HMRC is intending to write to charities next month to explain the changes.

The director of Data Developments, Shelagh Ibbs, said: "This is the most significant change to Gift Aid since it was introduced in 2000."

www.hmrc.gov.uk/charities/online/

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