Thursday, 12 April 2012

Cap on charitable giving – nobody’s a winner

We have become increasingly aware of the difficulties building for charities over recent years. The pressure began with the removal of dividend tax credits in 1997 by the then New Labour Government which drastically reduced charities’ income. Since then the burden has increased with negligible interest rates and yet rising demands from beneficiaries, as Government spending cuts have built up.

Our clients give away millions in charitable donations and we are particularly concerned that many will not be able to give as much as hitherto, if tax relief is restricted as proposed.

The central issues surrounding restricted tax relief on charitable donors:
  • Government plans to cap tax relief on donations to 25 per cent of donor’s income if giving more than £50,000.
  • Claiming that philanthropists were generally giving money to good causes as a way of dodging tax – an outrageous slur.
  • For centuries the foundations and bedrock of the charitable sector has been the generosity of those who see needs in society that charities are very well placed to address. The promotion of a ‘Big Society’ and citizenships runs counter to the financials disincentive announced in the Budget.
  • Just considering the generosity of our own clients, we expect this measure to reduce charitable giving by billions each year.
We would urge the Government to consider ways to block the loopholes they perceive in order to erase any abuse, rather than impose a blanket cap.

Charlotte Black
Head of Corporate Affairs

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