Small Charities Will Struggle to Claim under new Small Donations Scheme

  • Gareth Thomas, shadow minister for civil society, warns MPs that making claims under the planned Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme could be difficult for small charities.

    Charities that want to use the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme could have to read almost 100 pages of guidance before they can do so, according to Gareth Thomas, the shadow charities minister.

    Thomas was speaking in Parliament during the committee stage of the Small Charitable Donations Bill, and said the bill had originally been intended to be easy and light on paperwork, but that it was now extremely difficult for small charities to use.

    The small donations scheme will allow charities to claim £1,250 a year in Gift Aid-like payments on donations without an individual Gift Aid declaration. But to qualify, charities must have claimed Gift Aid for three of the past seven years, have a good record with HMRC, and have claimed £1 in Gift Aid for every £2 they want to claim through GASDS in a year.

    Charity infrastructure bodies have said these requirements are too complex and should be scrapped.

    Thomas told fellow MPs on bill committee last week:

    There are 80 pages of guidance for a charity to claim Gift Aid. Further guidance will be published by HM Revenue & Customs about the implementation of this scheme.

    [There would be] close to 100 pages of guidance for a charity to claim Gift Aid and a small top-up payment.

    Thomas said that part of the problem was the decision to have HMRC run the scheme, and to link it to Gift Aid:

    Some of the briefing for this bill suggested that this small grants scheme was needed to help charities that were not claiming Gift Aid.

    We are now in the daft position whereby charities that do not claim Gift Aid cannot benefit from the bill.

    Thomas was speaking during discussion of a group of amendments aimed at exploring whether another body, such as the Charity Commission, could administer the scheme.

    George Mudie, Labour MP for Leeds East, said:

    The government is providing this scheme, which is expected to cost £100m.

    Because it has given it to HMRC to deal with, it is packed with all the worries and rules that HMRC comes with; they are part of its baggage.

    It is sheer silliness to give this light scheme to a department that comes with such detailed baggage.

    But Sajid Javid, economic secretary to the Treasury and the minister in charge of steering the bill through the House of Commons, said that since charities are already familiar with the Gift Aid rules, the scheme worked well as it stood.

    Source: Third Sector



Related articles

  • Read More


    Prime minister, Theresa May and the first ministers of Scotland and Wales congratulated "Crisis" on its anniversary and gave an assurance to work hand in hand with them while on a quest to eradicate...

  • Read More


    In March 2016, forecasts of growth were low and the government's own estimates put the Treasury's coffers £122bn poorer by 2020.The supreme court has also determined that MPs must approve the...

  • Read More


    After analysing statistics from the Ministry of Justice, the housing charity (Shelter) found the following:In the past year, the number of people seeking advice from 'Shelter' on their eviction...

  • Read More


    "Most charities exist because their founders believed the future could be different if they mobilised supporters", but Mandy Johnson of the Guardian believes"This vision is being lost."Charities are...

  • Read More

    Support for veterans to return to work

    Places for People hopes to support veterans into the workplace and also benefit from the skills and experience they have to offer, reports 24dash.All veterans applying for jobs in Places for People's...

  • Read More

    Charity registers as social landlord

    It has now registered its housing department as a housing association, Inside Housing reports.The charity set up Golden Lane Housing (GLH) in 1998, which has now registered to be a social landlord...

  • Read More

    Charity to develop app for people with disabilities

    The funding will enable the charity to develop and test the free app, called FlyCatcher, which could be on the market by 2016.The app uses iBeacon technology to send information through smartphones...

  • Read More

    Young people’s health harmed by fuel poverty

    The Department of Energy and Climate Change have reported that 10% of households in England were in fuel poverty.The charity, Turn2us have stated that 75% of the 2,060 adults in the PRS who were...

  • Read More

    Homelessness in Scotland

    Shelter Scotland stated that this percentage is ‘disproportionate' to the sector's size which makes up 13% of all housing in Scotland, Inside Housing reports. It was also mentioned that the number...

  • Read More

    Homelessness an ‘increasing trend’ in Wales

    Cais blames the lack of options available to individuals due to the change in the type of support that can be offered.The Chief Executive of Cais, Clive Wolfendale has described the problem of...

Briefing Signup