Examining the evidence around Gift Aid

The National Audit Office recently (21st November) issued its report ‘Gift Aid and reliefs on donations’, which has attracted headlines around the loss of government tax receipts due to abuse of these charity concessions.

NAO itself leads with “HMRC and the Treasury do not know if incentives designed to increase charitable giving, at a cost to the taxpayer of £940 million in 2012-13, have resulted in more income for charities.” Executive summary and full report available from http://www.nao.org.uk/report/gift-aid-reliefs-donations/.

Civil Society Media coverage http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/finance/news/content/16457/.

Both Charity Finance Group and NCVO take a look at the report. CFG highlights, amongst other matters, that the evidence of effectiveness is lacking, rather than no effectiveness has been found, and NCVO mentions this too, along with this being the first time that fraud, tax avoidance and error rates relating to Gift Aid have been released by NAO, http://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/2013/11/21/naos-gift-aid-report/.