TaxPersonal TaxA new age of British philanthropy dawns

A new age of British philanthropy dawns

Gordon Brown always said he wanted this to be the decade of giving - and his dream is likely to come true. The current get-rich-quick climate and Brown's tax reforms have resulted in internet millionaires turning into the new philanthropists.

After the selfish 80s and the caring 90s, the chancellor has told us he wants to encourage a ‘new civic patriotism’. He wants to make the start of the millennium a ‘decade of giving’ and has outlined a whole raft of radical tax reforms to facilitate this fresh, new, modern philanthropic spirit of the 21st century.

In the US there is huge evidence that the hi-tech entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley are turning their attentions to charity and enjoying the novel experience of giving cash away as well as accruing it. Giving some of it away may fulfil that need to feel good about yourself.

It may also enhance your public image and be a form of philanthropic marketing – a strategy adopted by Microsoft. Commentators noted that the timing of Bill Gates donations coincided with the Microsoft anti-trust trial.

In the UK we are far more anonymous with our donations. Fortunes are smaller and there aren’t so many of them, but the internet frenzy and radical tax reforms could mean a new British philanthropist is on its way.

Payroll giving under Gordon Brown’s regime makes it inexpensive to give a substantial gift to those less fortunate. We all have the opportunity as individuals to make a difference, and we should all encourage our companies to do the same. The age of the British internet millionaire turned new philanthropist could be about to dawn.

  • Alistair O’Reilly is managing director of Access Accounting.

Related Articles

LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

Administration LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

2d Lucy Skoulding, Reporter
HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

Administration HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

2w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
HMRC urged to clarify impact of income allowances on Self-Assessments

Personal Tax HMRC urged to clarify impact of income allowances on Self-Assessments

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

Administration New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

2m Emma Rawson, ATT Technical Officer
Wealthy individuals could circumvent top tax rate rises

Personal Tax Wealthy individuals could circumvent top tax rate rises

4m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Italy grants first successful non-dom status application to former UK non-dom

Personal Tax Italy grants first successful non-dom status application to former UK non-dom

4m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Industry reaction: Taylor Review does not go far enough in addressing tax issues

Legal Industry reaction: Taylor Review does not go far enough in addressing tax issues

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Does the Taylor Review sufficiently address the gig economy?

Corporate Tax Does the Taylor Review sufficiently address the gig economy?

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter