The Institute of Fundraising has again asked the Chancellor to cancel his proposed tax relief cap because of its impact on charities' income from major gifts. In doing so it has proposed an alternative solution, a proposal which has recently been suggested by the British Red Cross.
The charity suggested that donors should be able to choose between claiming the tax back themselves, in which case it counts towards the tax relief cap, or donating it to the charity, in which case it would not.
Peter Lewis, IoF Chief Executive, said that the government "should treat higher rate taxpayers in exactly the same way as standard rate tax payers and allow the charity to reclaim all of the tax paid against their donations". He added that a survey of its 5,200 members on the issue found that 77% of the 669 who responded supported this solution.
Benefits of the British Red Cross proposed solution
The Institute said that allowing a charity to reclaim all of the tax paid against donations would have the following benefits:
• The reclaim by the charity would come after tax had been paid – so all tax payers would be being taxed in the same way
• It would be equitable between higher and lower rate tax payers – at the moment only higher rate tax payers can benefit from income tax relief on their
donations; lower rate tax payers can not
• It would remove any opportunity for tax avoidance as the tax reclaim would be by the UK registered charity.
Institute still committed to GiveitbackGeorge campaign
Whilte supporting the proposal, Peter Lewis confirmed that it was still committed to the GiveitbackGeorge campaign. He said: "Our members have told us clearly that this has already had, and will continue to have, a negative impact on philanthropists’ willingness to give to vital charitable causes, and that they will be able to deliver fewer programmes as a result."
He added: "Supporters give because they care, not because they wish to avoid tax. The suggestion that giving to charity is a method of tax avoidance is hugely
regrettable. The Government must rethink its proposal."
The Institute is now seeking to meet with the Government to discuss how its proposal might be implemented.