Charity sector to benefit from Autumn Statement

5 December 2014

Chancellor George Osborne delivered his 2014 Autumn Statement on Wednesday 3 December.

In his last Autumn Statement before next year’s General Election, Osborne announced some welcome measures that will benefit the charity and not-for-profit sector, including the extension of the VAT rebate schemes to hospices and search and rescue charities, further improvement so the Gift Aid system, and a commitment to continue to use Libor fines to support various charities.

VAT support for hospices and search and rescue

Following the Fair Playing Field Review, the Government will refund the VAT incurred by hospice charities. From 1 April 2015, UK search and rescue and air ambulance charities will also be eligible for VAT refunds on the purchases of goods and services for their non-business activities.

Gift Aid

During the March 2014 Budget, the Chancellor outlined a commitment to encourage more donors to use Gift Aid on eligible donations and to help ensure smaller charities are registered for the reliefs they are entitled to. In this week’s Autumn Statement, Osborne stated that the Government will extend its review of donor benefit rules to look at charities that claim Gift Aid on membership and entrance fees. The Government will also publish draft legislation to allow regulations to be made which give intermediaries a greater role in administering Gift Aid. We expect further details to be announced in the 2015 Budget.

Libor fines to support various charities

During the statement, the Chancellor pledged that money gathered from banks fined for their part in the Libor rate-rigging scandal would “continue to support our military and emergency service charities”. Osborne committed to support armed services benevolent charities, the Ghurkhas, and £10 million for veterans with hearing problems. Libor money will also be used to buy new helicopters for the Great Western Air Ambulance, and the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

For our complete summary of the 2014 Autumn Statement, please visit the Budget summary section of our website.

If you would like to discuss the implications of the Autumn Statement announcements in more detail with someone from our charity and not-for-profit team, please contact one of our specialists at your nearest location, or complete the contact form.