Charity Tax Group calls for delay to Apprenticeship Levy

The Charity Tax Group has called for a delay to the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy to provide sector organisations time to prepare for the new initiative.

CTG chair John Hemming has written to Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills Robert Halfon highlighting concerns over the extent to which the levy can be utilised by the sector in its current form.

The letter also highlighted concerns that donations might not end up used for the intended charitable purpose due to the levy requirements.

The apprenticeship levy requires UK employers with an annual pay bill over £3m to make an investment in apprenticeships. Employers can benefit from the levy by training apprentices, reclaiming their levy contributions as digital vouchers to use to pay for training apprentices.

Hemming wrote that extending the legislation to include accredited volunteer training and associated expenses would be an effective way of using the funding and meet the levy’s aims to increase the skills of the workforce.

“In particular, resources could be focused towards encouraging younger people to get involved in volunteering, thereby playing a role in the up-skilling of the country’s younger workforce.”

The Government was also urged to allow charities to pass on unused levy credits to other charities, enabling donations to go to their intended purpose.

While CTG recognised there was “little prospect of an exemption for charities”, Hemming said the delays to publication of guidance on the measure have given rise to concerns among many CTG members that they will not be ready by April next year.

“CTG urges the Government to delay the April 2017 implementation date or, at the very least, to allow charities longer than 18 months to make use of their levy contributions,” Hemming wrote.

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