Culture sector calls for reform of Gift Aid

Patrick Steel, 23.02.2015
MA among bodies to co-sign letter to the chancellor
The Museums Association (MA) is one of a number of culture organisations that have co-signed a letter to the chancellor George Osborne, calling for a reform of Gift Aid. The letter asks that “further focus” be given to the incentive as there is a concern that a significant amount of Gift Aid is going unclaimed within the arts and cultural sector.

In particular, the signatories would like to see the government invest in a promotional campaign to improve public awareness and understanding of Gift Aid; simplify the donor benefit rules; give higher rate taxpayers the option of giving tax relief to charities; and review the Gift Aid small Donations Scheme and corporate Gift Aid.

Sharon Heal, the MA’s director, said: “Gift Aid provides an important tax benefit to the museum sector and is a vital way of maximising the value of individual donations.

“When museums are under pressure to source additional income a simpler system could encourage take up and ensure that museums of all size and scale are able to take advantage of the benefit.”

The government is expected to make an announcement about Gift Aid at the budget on 18 March. It is hoped that the Finance Bill (2015), currently at draft stage, will allow regulations that would give intermediaries a greater role in administering Gift Aid.

The letter is co-signed by representatives from the MA, the Association of British Orchestras, the Association of Independent Museums, the British Association of Concert Halls, the Charity Finance Group, Dance UK, the Museums Association, the National Museum Directors’ Council, the Royal Philharmonic Society, the Small Charities Coalition, the Heritage Alliance, and the UK Theatre & Society of London Theatre.

Links and downloads

Letter to George Osborne (pdf)

Gift aid and museums