Cap on income tax relief threatens charitable giving

Publications that covered this article include The Daily Telegraph and The Times, 22 March 2012.

Plans to cap income tax reliefs to £50,000 or 25% of income from April 2013 announced in today’s Budget cast a huge shadow over charitable giving in the UK, according to our research.

Gary Shortman, partner at our London office, comments: “A cap on tax relief for charitable giving casts a huge shadow over large scale donations to charity by wealthy individuals.”

“Very high earners, encouraged by the relief, often make substantial lump sum charitable donations that dwarf their income and that behaviour is now threatened.”

“The third sector has become increasingly dependent on big donations from wealthy individuals as the economy has stuttered, so this is the worst possible timing to threaten that source of income.”

“High earning Britons have been closing the gap on philanthropic giving in the UK compared to the US, but this change threatens that.”

“People who do want to contribute a substantial portion of their income to charity may wish to bring forward their donation so that they can benefit from the existing rules.”

“The Government has said that it will consult with charities before making this change and it is vitally important that it implements the cap in a way that doesn’t put a huge dent in UK philanthropy.”