How to read the Treasury’s clarification statement on the Gift Aid cap

Yesterday’s long awaited statement from Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) on the cap on Gift Aid tax relief was meant to clarify the confusion that has abounded amongst charities, philanthropists and advisors. Did it do the job?

In short, the answer appears to be yes and no. We’ve got some big picture stuff that tacitly ignores points about the public benefit nature of Gift Aid (that is, it benefits society, not an individual donor) and it flatly refuses to take gift aid out of the cap. And there is some technical stuff that we think means the situation is much worse than we feared. I use ‘we think’ because the example and the language are clearly not written by people who know how much a loaf of bread costs. Oh, and there is the promise of a consultation that informally begins soon and extends over the Summer.

Anyway, with the help of CAF’s Rhodri Davies I’ve annotated a version of the clarification document, which you can read here (PDF). Hope you like it.

David Cameron has today at the launch of Big Society Capital cited the importance of philanthropy. I really hope that No 10 has a look at this issue so that they understand just what damage the cap is doing to the culure our Prime Minister wants to see more of. In the meantime, add your voice to the debate on twitter using the hashtag #giveitbackgeorge or sign up at

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Karl Wilding Karl Wilding served as NCVO's chief executive from September 2019 to February 2021.

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