A group of third sector bodies have met with Treasury officials
to continue discussions on Gift Aid reform and in particular
the group’s proposals for a change to an “opt
Currently Gift Aid is an opt-in system - donors have to
say they are eligible and willing to add Gift Aid to their
The coalition, made up of the Association of Chief Executives
of Voluntary Organisations, Institute of Fundraising, National
Council for Voluntary Organisations, Charity Finance Directors’
Group, Charities Aid Foundation, Save the Children and the
Charity Tax Group has been calling for this to be changed
to an opt-out system.
This means whereby donors are assumed to be eligible and
willing to add Gift Aid to their donation unless they explicitly
Despite the Treasury reassuring the group that the Government
is committed to improving Gift Aid, officials gave no indicator
at the meeting of the direction which reform is likely to
The group have been working for some months on the feasibility
of an “opt out” system, however the officials
were unable to commit either way to the proposal, instead
stating that they were “still considering a number
of possible options” for reform.
The group have been working closely with the Treasury and
HMRC for two years to provide
evidence on the need for change and the shape the sector
believes the reform should take.
This has included working with experts from a number of
fields to assess the feasibility of various options.
The Treasury commissioned their own research with donors,
this year, to explore
structural changes to Gift Aid.
Following their meeting, the group have written to Stephen
Timms, financial secretary in the
Treasury, expressing their disappointment at the lack of
progress that has been made on their proposals and requesting
a meeting with him in person.
Stephen Bubb, chief executive of ACEVO said: “It
is disappointing that we are currently no clearer on the
government’s plans for the reform of Gift Aid. We
do however look forward to receiving the Treasury’s
research on options for reform.
"The group will continue to lobby the minister for
reform and work with the Treasury to ensure that reform
is a priority commitment.”
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising,
added: “The work on developing proposals for Gift
Aid reform has seen an unprecedented move by the
sector to work together and, while we are disappointed to
not yet to have a response from
Government, we hope that this work will see Treasury announce
positive changes for the future of Gift Aid.”