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Charitable Giving

Volume 546: debated on Thursday 21 June 2012

The Government have today introduced the Small Charitable Donations Bill into Parliament. This will enable charities to claim gift aid-style payments on the small cash donations that they receive. Charities and community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) can find it difficult to claim gift aid on donations collected in certain circumstances, for example bucket collections, where donors may be reluctant to stop and fill out gift aid declarations. This means that charities are currently missing out on potential income.

This new scheme will allow charities and CASCs to claim top-up payments of 25p for every £1 collected on small cash donations of £20 or less, up to a total of £5,000 of donations per year. The scheme is designed to allow top-up payments to charities on the donations for which they cannot easily get a gift aid declaration. It will supplement the main gift aid scheme, which provides over £1 billion a year in additional income for the charitable sector.

In developing the scheme, the Government have taken steps to ensure that it operates as fairly as possible, whilst keeping overall costs of the scheme affordable and also protecting against fraud. The scheme has been designed in order to make it fair and generous, and straightforward for charities to claim the top-up payments. HM Revenue and Customs will be issuing guidance for charities ahead of the scheme commencing.