Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme - Like Gift Aid but not Gift Aid
The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) will commence on 6 April 2013. It is still subject to further change but nothing substantial. The scheme will allow charities to claim a Gift Aid like “top up” payment on up to £5,000 of small cash donations (of £20 or less) per year from individuals without the burden of having to obtain and store Gift Aid declarations.
Sayer Vincent have a full update on their website providing information on qualifying donations, charity eligibility conditions and caps on the total value of small donations.
Tempted to dip into your restricted funds to cover budget shortfalls? If so you need to read this article as there are certain steps you need to take.
Useful Resouce if you need an Investment Policy
Charity Finance Group and the Charity Investors' Group have launched a support guide to help charities in writing their investment policy. Guide to writing an Investment Policy
Easy to use Guides
Sayer Vincent has produced 'Made Simple Guides' for the Charity Finance Directors Group. There are 19 titles available for download including recently updated VAT, Gift Aid, taking into account updates from the last budget.
HM Revenue and Customs (Charities) has updated guidance on Gift Aid declarations and provided new model declarations. For charities designing their own declaration form, there is a new checklist of the minimum information that must be included - HMRC is aware that many declarations in use are not in accordance with the legislation. HMRC has also apologised for an error in the previous guidance which mistakenly states that records of Gift Aid declarations need only be kept for four years, rather than the necessary six. Check the guidance
Free Advice on VAT
The Direct Marketing Association in association with Zero Vat consultancy has set up a help desk to provide advice to charities. Contrary to popular belief, charities are not exempt from paying VAT on goods and services. However, HMRC has in place a number of concessions that allow for certain marketing goods and services to be ‘zero rated’ for VAT. As this is a complex matter it is hoped that the helpdesk will help charities to slash thousands of pounds from their marketing and advertising costs by providing details on what is VAT zero rated.
VAT cost-sharing groups
This is a new VAT measure to allow charities to share services without incurring additional VAT costs. To take advantage of the VAT relief, a group of charities need to set up a cost sharing group (“CSG”). The group can then undertake services and recharge the cost to its members exempt from VAT providing various conditions are met. Sayer Vincent have a full update on their website providing guidance on the various conditions of the cost sharing exemption and some complexities if you wish to set up a CSG in conjunction with an existing or proposed VAT group. You can also contact them if you would like to discuss this option further email@example.com