At a time when cuts to Government spending have led to pressure not only on public services but also the voluntary sector, charitable giving has assumed an even greater importance. While there have been reforms which encourage donors, such as more flexible reporting for Gift Aid and a reduction in the rate of inheritance tax for donors who give a proportion of their estate to charity, it is some 20 years since there was a comprehensive review of charity taxation and reliefs – estimated to be worth £3.77bn per year for charities and £1.47bn for individuals.
The Charity Tax Commission, chaired by a former chair of HMRC, is an independent body which was established by the NCVO to carry out such a review and its ‘Call for Evidence’ identifies a number of areas on which it has requested feedback from a range of charities, donors, representative bodies and professional advisers. The deadline for responses was 6 July and no report has been published as yet. Although an initial review of the published responses suggests that there is not much appetite for any radical changes to be made, it is hoped that any outcomes result in further simplification of the tax system for donors rather than increased complexity.