HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that a new service, Charities Online, will be available to users in April 2013. The service will allow charities to apply for Gift Aid online, replacing the traditional paper format. Charities previously had to provide the donors name, date, and figure of donation. They will now be expected to give further information, such as the donor’s address.
The alterations were welcomed by the Charity Tax Group (CTG), although concerns were raised regarding the speed of the transition and problems it might pose for charities. Chair of CTG, John Hemming, urged charities to ensure that their Gift Aid claims are organised before the new system launches in April, “CTG has repeatedly expressed concerns that the timetable is very challenging. Charities need to consider as soon as possible how Gift Aid online will affect them. We are particularly concerned that the residual paper form may end up being cumbersome and impractical and not be a credible option for most charities. It is vital that charities make preparations now to move their Gift Aid Claims online.”
Despite Hemming’s initial concern, he recognises the benefits the online transition will bring, “The new system, once in place, should reduce the administrative burden faced by charities and speed up the payment of much-needed funds for the charity sector.”
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