Autumn statement 2013: Key messages for charities

The Autumn Statement 2013 took place on 5 December 2013. The statement provides an update on the government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. Here is a round up of the key messages for charities.

Gift Aid

The government wants as many eligible donations as possible to attract Gift Aid, and will establish a new working group to revise the model Gift Aid Declaration to make it easier to understand, and to develop new promotional material to increase take-up. The government also intends to allow intermediaries to take a greater role in operating Gift Aid in order to reduce the number of instances where a new Gift Aid Declaration is given. However, following feedback from charities in the recent consultation exercise, it will consult further on the detail of how this can best be achieved, before changing legislation.

Cultural Gifts Scheme and estate duty

In the Finance Bill 2014, the government will amend legislation underpinning the Cultural Gifts Scheme to ensure that estate duty is brought into charge where appropriate.

Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs)

Following a consultation over the summer, the government announced on 25 November 2013 a series of reforms to the tax regime for CASCs. As part of these changes, from April 2014 donations by companies of gifts of money to CASCs will be eligible for corporate Gift Aid. (Finance Bill 2014)

Joint registration of Charities between HMRC and the Charity Commission

HMRC will develop a new IT system to allow organisations wanting to register with the Charity Commission for England & Wales and seeking charity tax status with HMRC to submit their applications through a single online portal. The new system is planned to be introduced in 2015 to 16 and will later be extended to enable charities in Scotland and Northern Ireland to register with their charity regulators at the same time as they apply to HMRC.

Charity Shops

Government to provide additional support to the retail sector through a business rates discount of up to £1,000 in 2014-15 and 2015-16 for retail properties (including pubs, cafes, restaurants and charity shops) with a rateable value of up to £50,000, and a 50% discount from business rates for new occupants of previously empty retail premises for 18 months.

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT): charities relief

The government will legislate to make it clear that partial relief from SDLT is available where a charity purchases property jointly with a non-charity. The charity will be able to claim relief from SDLT on the proportion of the purchase attributable to it. The changes will take effect from the date on which Finance Bill 2014 receives Royal Assent. (Finance Bill 2014)

Charities established for tax avoidance purposes

Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2014 to amend the definition of a charity for tax purposes to put beyond doubt that entities established for the purpose of tax avoidance are not entitled to claim charitable tax reliefs.

For further information:

Visit the government topical pages on the Autumn Statement 2013 here.

You can download the full statement here.

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