UK Government to stop charities missing out on Gift Aid

The UK government is all set to improve the Gift Aid model declaration form which will stop charities losing out on billions of pounds of potential funding.

According to the National Audit Office (NAO) it is estimated that for donations totaling  approximately £2.3 billion, Gift Aid remains unused. While some of these donations will not be eligible for Gift Aid, the government is actively working to boost the number of Gift Aid eligible donations to charities.

One means of doing this will be through improvements to the model Gift Aid declaration form, following research that showed that understanding of Gift is generally poor and that donors do not always make the link between tax they’ve paid and Gift Aid claimed by a charity.

Used by a number of charities, especially smaller ones, the model Gift Aid declaration helps to collect the declarations which are needed to claim Gift Aid on donations. The easiest improvement that research found would be to streamline the form and making the language used more straightforward in order to enable donors to determine if their donations qualify for relief.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Priti Patel said:

“Gift Aid is an important tax relief for charities which helps to provide essential revenue to charitable causes. This research shows that there is more that government can do to boost eligible donations which is why we are simplifying the declaration forms to make sure donors understand when they’re eligible so that charities can maximise the financial donations they receive.

“We hope that this research will help to raise awareness and boost Gift Aid on eligible donations.”

This research came as part of the announcements made in Budget 2014, with the government saying that it will encourage more donors to use Gift Aid on eligible donations and encourage smaller charities to register for the reliefs to which they are entitled.

Other means through which HMRC believes it can improve the model Gift Aid declaration form include:

  • avoiding excess detail or dense formatting
  • breaking up the information to make it easier to digest
  • changing the layout significantly so donors pay more attention to the information


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Words: Peter Cribley

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