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HMRC doubles investigations into charity gift aid claims

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HMRC more than doubled the number of investigations it made into claims for Gift Aid last year, says accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy.
According to figures obtained by Wilkins Kennedy, HMRC carried out 1,057 checks and audits of charity claims for gift aid tax relief in 2012/13, up from 510 the year before. It raised more than £6m in additional tax as a result.

Wilkins Kennedy suggests that a recent high profile controversy over the ‘Cup Trust’ (a children’s charity) is spurring a drive by HMRC to uncover more cases of wrongdoing and claw back deliberately underpaid tax. 

John Howard, partner at Wilkins Kennedy, says: ‘HMRC is on the look out for charities it believes have been set up for tax, rather than charitable, purposes and wants to root out cases where the donors’ main aim is avoidance. Although cases of deliberate abuse or fraud are rare, when it uncovers anything suspicious, it’s going to use all the tools at its disposal to take action.’