CHARITIES have been denied millions of pounds because donors wrote personal messages on fundraising website JustGiving, according to a recent article in The Times.
Officials at HM Revenue and Customs launched an attack on charitable donations last November by instructing staff at JustGiving to remove gift aid where a personal message had been left which referred to more than one person..
Gift aid allows charities to claim back basic rate tax every time a taxpayer makes a donation (equivalent to 25p on every £1 donated). The Times reported that the change meant that charities lost millions of pounds in gift aid payments because donors, often unaware of the change to the tax rules, left messages from multiple family members.
Whilst there can be no argument that the HMRC stance is technically correct it seems an over-zealous use of their powers in denying tax relief that was originally claimed in good faith. In order to secure the Gift Aid allowance, donors must only refer to one individual taxpayer in any messages of support that are left with the donation on JustGiving or similar fundraising sites.
Our Charities and Taxation teams are well placed to advise on all issues of taxation and not for profit organisations, contact us on-line, on 0845 177 5500 or at your local Burgis & Bullock office.