Small Charitable Donations and Childcare Payments Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 18th October 2016.
Clause 8 makes minor technical changes to ensure that a charity that has merged with another before
I explained earlier that the Bill makes changes to the eligibility criteria for claiming top-up payments under the small donations scheme. I explained that currently charities must have a gift aid history before they can claim under that scheme; in other words, they must have made a successful claim in two out of the previous four tax years.
Currently, if a new charity has taken over the activities of one or more charities, it may apply to HMRC for the gift aid history of the old charity to be taken into account for the purposes of the small donations scheme. If certain criteria are met—the old and new charities having similar purposes, for example—HMRC will issue a certificate that allows the new charity to claim top-up allowances on the strength of the old charity’s gift aid history. In other words, those rules ensure that when a new charity takes over an old charity it is not automatically denied access to the gift aid small donations scheme because it cannot meet the eligibility requirements.
As Members have heard, the Bill will abolish the two-in-four eligibility criterion and the need for new charities to have a successful gift aid history, so the merger rules will largely become redundant from
The changes made in clause 8 therefore retain the merger rules in their current form for cases in which a charity has taken over the activities of another, or more than one other, before
The practical implications of the clause are obviously time-limited, because they apply only to mergers pre-April 2017. Nevertheless, without the clause, some charities that merged before that date may unexpectedly lose their entitlement to top-up payments.