Think tank urges HMRC modernisation to aid charities

HM Revenue and Customs is being urged to modernise its antiquated paper-based
systems to enable charities to reclaim tax through “gift aid” according to an
influential think tank.

A report from ResPublica warns that the charity sector is losing out on £750m
a year in costs and potential revenue because the existing system is too
bureaucratic and estimates each claim for a tax refund costs HMRC £5 to process.

“Digital Giving, Modernising Gift Aid: Taking Civil Society into the Digital
Age”, by deputy director Asheem Singh, urges the creation of an on-line system
to enable charities to claim refunds electronically and calls for a new steering
group to work out a means of applying Gift Aid to new forms of donation such as
via mobile phone texts.

The report claims it is in society’s long-term interest to encourage civil
society. It was commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation.

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