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Gift Aid reforms

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A report setting out possible changes to the Gift Aid system has ‘much that could be taken forward,’ according to Justine Greening, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

A small Gift Aid Forum of charity sector representatives and Government officials has met six times this year and Peter Fanning, Chief Executive of the CIOT, writing in a personal capacity, has set out a number of recommendations coming out of that work.

Greening welcomed the report and told Fanning that HMRC will now set up a wider Charity Tax Forum, will ‘move quickly’ on improving or clarifying guidance, and will continue to explore the viability of online filing of Gift Aid claims.

She confirmed that there will be no extension of the transitional relief due to end in April 2011. Fanning’s report did not recommend the extension sought by a number of representative bodies.

The Fanning report recommended that ministers explore with the tax profession how tax professionals might donate their skills and time to help charities benefit from Gift Aid. Fanning  said: ‘Many tax advisers already donate time and skill to helping and advising individual unrepresented taxpayers and small charities or sports clubs.’

Greening said she was particularly interested in the proposal. ‘We should discuss further how best I can encourage firms to become involved,’ she wrote.