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CAF is one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations. We produce research on charities and charitable giving, develop policy ideas and work with people, companies and charities to help good causes thrive.

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Reform Gift Aid to give charities a lifeline - response to HMRC figures

30 April 2015

Cumbersome Gift Aid arrangements must be made more user-friendly to give charities a financial lifeline, the Charities Aid Foundation has urged.

New figures published by HM Revenue and Customs today show that too many charities are missing out on tax reliefs which they are entitled to.

Analysis of the latest statistics shows that tens of thousands of registered charities did not receive Gift Aid on donations in 2013/14.

The figures highlight the need for a long-overdue reform of Gift Aid to make it fit for the 21st century. Research by CAF in 2012 showed that fewer than two in five people applied Gift Aid to their donations, suggesting that good causes are missing out on millions of pounds each year.

One in five smaller charities currently say they are struggling to survive, according to separate research published by CAF and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations last month.

CAF Chief Executive John Low said:

“Gift Aid is vital for charities, but it simply isn’t fit for purpose in the 21st century. It needs to work better for the millions of people who give to charities every year.

“Too many people are put off by a cumbersome system which requires them to fill out forms every single time they make a donation.

“This should be addressed by introducing a single Gift Aid declaration that people can use to cover all their charity donations. Such a reform will make it easier for people to add Gift Aid to all of their giving whether via smartphones, tablet computers or more traditional methods.”

Notes to Editors

1 HMRC statistics show that 65,590 charities claimed Gift Aid repayments in the 2013/14 tax year, this represents 40% of all charities who were registered at that time. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/charitable-donations-and-tax-reliefs-statistics

2 The National Audit Office's 'Gift Aid and reliefs on donations' report published in November 2013 suggested an additional £94 million of Gift Aid could be reclaimed every year if uptake increased.

3 In 2011/12 39 per cent of donors used Gift Aid on their donations https://www.cafonline.org/PDF/UKGiving2012Full.pdf

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