New rules that will lift the administration burden for charities claiming Gift Aid on the proceeds of donors’ goods sold by charity shops have been announced by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The new rules allow donors to make a one-off Gift Aid declaration that covers donations of up to £100, or £1,000 of future sale proceeds, in a tax year. The charity will need to write to the donor only when sale proceeds exceed the amount.
Current rules require a charity to write to a donor before the charity can claim Gift Aid on the proceeds from each sale, so that the donor can confirm that they are UK taxpayers.
Sajid Javid, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said:
I’m delighted that we’ve been able to work with the charity sector to make Gift Aid simpler and less costly for charity shops. Gift Aid income from these shops is important for many charities, and we want to reduce the associated administrative costs as much as possible.
The new procedures will apply from April 2013.
Notes for editors
Gift Aid is a tax relief on donations of money by individuals to charities. The donor must pay at least the same amount of income tax or capital gains tax as the charity reclaims from HMRC on the donation.
In 2006 the charity sector devised a way for Gift Aid to be applied to the sale proceeds of goods sold by charities on behalf of their supporters. Instead of giving the goods to the shops for the shop to sell, the shop sells the goods on behalf of the supporter. The shop must then offer the supporter the choice of taking the money, less a sales commission, or giving the money to the charity under Gift Aid.
The new processes, which are optional for shops and donors, allow donors to authorise the gift of up to £100 of sale proceeds (for goods sold by a charity operating the shop directly) or £1,000 of sales proceeds (for goods sold by a trading subsidiary of the charity) without the shop needing to seek the supporter’s permission to claim the tax relief.
HMRC will publish detailed guidance on the new procedures in the New Year.