Government introduces Gift Aid small donations scheme
Wed 23 Mar 2011
George Osborne has unveiled changes to the Gift Aid system as part of a wider effort to encourage people to give to charity.
The government has confirmed in this week's Budget that a Gift Aid small donations scheme is to be introduced.
This means charities will not have to make Gift Aid declarations when claiming Gift Aid on up to £5,000 worth of small donations throughout the year.
Meanwhile, the Gift Aid benefit limit will be raised to £2,500, up from the previous level of £500.
Mr Osborne told MPs this would give groups such as charities the opportunity to "say thank you properly".
He added that by 2013, charities will not have to submit written records of donations, as a new and "much easier" online system will be set up instead.
The Treasury believes this will help to bring the Gift Aid system into the 21st century and make the administration process far less bureaucratic.
Paul Morris, ecclesiastical law partner at Winckworth Sherwood, commented: "Any steps to reduce the burden on charities in this area is to be welcomed.
"Many hours are currently spent on reconciling Gift Aid, so we look forward to inspecting the full proposals.
"The small donations scheme will be of particular interest to our church clients, as cash offerings in the collection plate could now attract relief - even if not in a Gift Aid envelope."
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