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Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme: draft regulations

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HMRC has published draft regulations under the Small Charitable Donations Bill, setting out the administrative framework for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme to be introduced next April.

The scheme will enable qualifying charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs to claim a top-up payment equivalent to gift aid relief on cash donations of up to £20, where it is difficult to collect donors’ details.

‘For example, when a charity has a bucket collection to raise funds, or where a religious group passes a plate around for its members to make donations during a service, it may be difficult or disproportionately burdensome to collect a declaration as the gift aid system requires,’ HMRC said in a technical note.

Comments are invited by 5 December 2012.

The House of Commons committee stage of the Small Charitable Donations Bill is scheduled for 16 October. Legislation outside the Finance Bill process is required because payments under the scheme will be classified as public spending.

Most of the draft regulations will apply the administrative provisions of the Taxes Acts that are used to administer gift aid claims, HMRC said. Sajid Javid, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said in a written statement last week: ‘Charities will use the same forms, procedures and IT to claim under the gift aid small donations scheme as for gift aid.’