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A temporary increase in the value of Gift Aid would be a fitting tribute to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh

With the country moving out of lockdown and charities able to organise mass-funding events, the Government should make charity-giving easier by changing the Gift Aid rules and increasing its value, says Mark Hart.

The Government should move away from the current system whereby donors opt into Gift Aid to one where they instead opt out if they are not a UK taxpayer. This should be coupled with a temporary increase in the value of Gift Aid for a year to 25% of the donation so that every £1 given would be worth £1.33. This would be a fitting tribute to the work that the Duke of Edinburgh did to promote the concept of Gift Aid.

This would increase the amount of tax relief that could be claimed at a time when charities are struggling, having suffered a year when a number of fundraising events were cancelled.

The Government has won praise for helping those industries that have suffered at the hands of the pandemic by being forced to shut but has done little for the charitable sector.

What better way to acknowledge the Duke’s contribution to the formulation of Gift Aid than making a donation to charity in his memory? Gift Aid as a tax planning tool is focused in the January to March quarter, but taxpayers should get into the habit early in the tax year so that their donations can have the greatest impact.

Gift Aid works by enabling donors who make payments to charities under Gift Aid to claim a deduction for the gift at their marginal rate of tax. In addition, the charity is able to claim a tax payment from the charity equal to 20% of the gift so that every £1 donated is worth £1.25 when the Gift Aid is reclaimed. Gift Aid is worth £1.3bn every year to charities.

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