Chancellor George Osborne delivered a financial boost for charities in the 2015 Budget.
Measures announced on 18 March included a change to the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, which allows charities and community amateur sports clubs to claim “top-up” payments of up to £2,000 a year on small cash donations.
The scheme, which was introduced in April 2013, means that charities and CASCs can claim the top-ups from HM Revenue & Customs on cash donations of £20 or less without the need to collect Gift Aid declarations.
The top-ups are worth 20 per cent of donations totalling up to £5,000 a year, so the most that can be reclaimed is £1,250.
The Budget included a measure to increase the maximum annual donation amount to £8,000, allowing charities and CASCs to claim top-ups of up to £2,000 a year, with effect from April 2016. The move is set to benefit 6,500 smaller organisations.
It also confirmed that, as announced in the Autumn Statement in December 2014, hospices, together with search and rescue and air ambulance charities, would be eligible for VAT refunds from April 2015 and that blood bike charities would be included in the VAT refunds scheme from the same date.
Elsewhere, the Budget included an announcement that the government was working with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Charity Investors’ Group and the Charity Commission to introduce a new Charity Authorised Investment Fund structure, to bring new investment funds established for charitable purposes under FCA regulation so that they are subject to the same regulatory oversight and protections as funds for retail investors.
For more information on any aspect of charity-related Budget announcements, including the Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme, or any issues arising from the Budget, please contact Moore Thompson’s charity specialists.