News story

Chancellor announces tax breaks for philanthropists

Budget includes raft of measures which will benefit the arts and support digital and creative industries.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Chancellor George Osborne has announced a new tax incentive to boost legacy giving to charities and the arts.

From April next year, people who donate 10 per cent of their legacy will be eligible for a 10 per cent reduction in inheritance tax bills - a move which could result in more than £350 million worth of additional legacies in the first four years of the scheme.

Under plans in the Budget, it will also become easier for charities to claim gift aid under proposals to introduce an online filing system to reduce the paperwork required to make a claim and giving each charity a £5,000 allowance that they can claim without the need to have declarations from donors. The limit that organisations can spend thanking donors will be increased from a maximum of £500 to £2,500.

“Together, these represent the most radical and most generous reforms to charitable giving for more than twenty years,” Mr Osborne said. “Do the right thing for a charity, and the Government will do the right thing by you. It’s a big help for the Big Society.”

These changes join the measures to boost philanthropy announced by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt last year, including an £80 million match funding scheme.

Plan for Growth

Proposals to support the digital and creative industries were also revealed as part of the Government’s Plan for Growth, published alongside the Budget today. The plan follows the Growth Review carried out by the Treasury and the Department for Business, which identified ways to increase economic growth in key industries such as music, film and video games.

Other measures include:

  • establishing a Creative Industries Council comprising leaders from across the sector to discuss key issues such as access to finance and skills
  • expanding flexible apprenticeships to allow digital and creative industries to more easily take on apprentices
  • increasing the number of STEM Ambassadors from creative industries to raise schoolchildren’s awareness of career options in the sector
  • publishing a response to the Livingstone-Hope Review this summer 
  • reducing the licensing burdens for live music venues
  • continuing film tax relief
  • developing a marketing plan through UKTI to promote opportunities for investment in UK digital and creative industries
  • improving the range of products and services available to support UK businesses on issues relating to intellectual property

The Government confirmed that it will also consider simplifying payments for copyright materials and freeing up orphan works, in response to the Hargreaves recommendations which will be published in full in April.

Measures to support businesses, particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), are also expected to impact on the digital and creative industries. The Chancellor announced plans to remove the burden of regulation for businesses, including exempting start ups and businesses with fewer than 10 employees from new domestic regulation for three years from 1 April 2011. Twenty-one Enterprise Zones will also be set up, with simplified planning rules, superfast broadband and tax breaks for businesses.

Further information

Published 23 March 2011