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Archive for the ‘Charities’ Category

Charities, making the most of tax reliefs

Monday, September 14th, 2015

There are now a number of ways that charities can encourage donations by promoting the various tax schemes available.

Over the last five years the government has brought in a range of changes to the tax system to make it simpler for charities to make the most of tax reliefs, so that more money can go to good causes.

It’s now easier for charities to receive gift aid

Charities online, a system that helps charities to claim gift aid faster, was introduced in 2013. Instead of having to submit paper claims for tax reliefs through the post, charities can now submit them online.

Almost 95% of charities now use charities online to claim gift aid. The majority of claims are processed within five working days, down from around 15 days.

It’s now simpler for charities to receive government support on small donations

If someone donates a small amount of money to a charity – for example, by giving it to a charity vendor in a high street – it’s often not possible (or practical) for the donor to provide formal consent for gift aid to be claimed on that donation.

Through the gift aid small donations scheme charities can now claim a gift aid-style top-up on these small donations, up to a limit of £5,000 per year. This limit will increase to £8,000 per year from April 2016.

An outreach team now helps charities claim tax relief

To date, HMRC’s outreach team has delivered face-to-face presentations to over 650 represented charities to spread awareness, increase take-up, and help charities to successfully claim tax relief.

Works of art donated to the nation now receive tax relief

The cultural gifts scheme was introduced in 2013 and allows taxpayers to pay a tax bill by donating eligible works of art to the nation.

People donating to charity in their will can now benefit from a lower rate of inheritance tax

If people leave at least 10% of the net value of their estate (its worth, minus any debt, other liabilities and reliefs) to charity, then 36% inheritance tax can be paid instead of 40%. This was introduced in 2012.

Local amateur sports clubs can now claim gift aid on donations too

The government has amended the law so that local sports clubs registered as community amateur sports clubs can receive corporate gift aid, to help these clubs to benefit their local communities.

A new tax relief has been created to encourage investment in social enterprises

The social investment tax relief scheme has been created to encourage people to invest in social enterprises, including charities.

Individuals making an eligible investment will be able to deduct 30% of the cost of that investment from their income tax liability.

Boost for charities

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The Cabinet Office launched an initiative on the 25 June that will provide grants to increase the sustainability of around 250 organisations working in the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.

The fund, which will be delivered by the Big Lottery Fund, will provide grants that will enable recipients to implement organisational changes and access professional advice that might currently be out of their reach. It will give VCSEs access to a wider range of skills and support, with all grant recipients establishing a strong volunteering relationship with a local business. These cross sector relationships will help grant recipients to strengthen their resilience and long term sustainability.

The Local Sustainability Fund will be £20 million of government funding delivered over 2 years, and will be available to medium-sized VCSE organisations that deliver vital support to vulnerable and disadvantaged people. Alongside working with local businesses, recipients will also work with skilled advisors so that the fund generates maximum impact.

It is expected to help around 250 high-impact charities and social enterprises in England to secure sustainable futures for themselves, including supporting them to bid for public service contracts and to diversify their incomes. Eligible organisations will be able to apply for funding when the fund opens today. Details of how to apply will be on Big Lottery Fund’s website and will be widely circulated throughout the sector.

There are 2 elements to the first stage of the programme: an organisational diagnostic tool and an LSF eligibility checker. The diagnostic tool, which takes approximately 1 hour to fill in, can be completed by any organisation interested in their sustainability, regardless of whether they apply to the LSF. The tool allows organisations to understand their strengths and weaknesses better, and every organisation that fills it out will receive a sustainability report.

Once an organisation has submitted its sustainability report to the Big Lottery Fund, a selection of suitable applicants will be invited to make a more detailed application at the second stage.

It is expected that successful organisations will receive their first grant payment in March 2016. Average grant size is expected to be £70,000. Big Lottery Fund will be administering the Local Sustainability Fund on behalf of the Cabinet Office.