As announced in the Autumn Statement, HMRC has brought forward the start of its promised review of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme and has launched a call for evidence.

The call for evidence

HMRC acknowledges that the GASDS rules were designed to reduce the risk of fraudulent claims on public expenditure and as a result are fairly robust. It recognises that some charities have said that they find the current rules complex to administer. This has led the Government – as part of its commitment to encourage charitable giving – to confirm that it will review the current GASDS rules, with the intention of simplifying them to ensure as many eligible charities as possible can claim this relief.

If this call for evidence supports the need for a reform of the rules, the Government has confirmed that it will publish a formal consultation document next year setting out some detailed options for reforming the rules.

Evidence Sought

The Government wishes to use this Call for Evidence to ensure that it has the best possible understanding of the impact of the current GASDS rules on all interested parties. Specifically, the government would like to gather evidence on how the current rules are understood and applied, what barriers or problems they present for the charities sector, and how they might be improved.

The consultation asks sixteen questions covering the areas on which the government would like to gather evidence:

• the clarity and accessibility of the current GASDS rules
• the eligibility conditions and their matching criteria
• the current connected charities and community building rules.

Further analysis of these questions will follow in due course.

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