MP: "Gift Aid rule changes could make massive difference for local charities"
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has said that proposed changes to Gift Aid could make a 'massive difference' to local charities and good causes.
The Government has outlined proposals for one of the biggest reforms of Gift Aid rules in recent years. These reforms will make it easier for charities to claim tax relief on donations made online or by text message, ensuring that more money goes to good causes.
The Government wants charities to be able to claim Gift Aid on as many eligible donations as possible, and has already made a number of changes to the rules that represent a radical package designed to make claiming easier. For example, a new IT system is being introduced that will allow charities to claim back Gift Aid online and simplified rules have been put in place for charity shops who claim Gift Aid on donations from the sale of goods.
The Government is suggesting ways in which this process can be adapted for spontaneous digital giving, for example by shortening the declaration, or by allowing the organisations that process digital donations to collect and pass on the Gift Aid or the declarations to charities.
The consultation document also asks for views on other significant changes that could be made to Gift Aid, for example the introduction of a universal Gift Aid declaration database that would mean that donors could complete a single declaration to cover all their donations to charity. The aim of the reform is to increase take-up of Gift Aid on digital donations, so that more money ultimately goes to good causes. The Government is asking charities, organisations that process digital donations and donors for their views on the proposed changes to the system between now and 20 September 2013.
Tim said: "These plans really could help good causes throughout our area. More and more donations are now being given electronically and this proposed change would allow charities to claim Gift Aid they are currently missing out on. I wholeheartedly support the proposal."