Charities 'missing out on millions due to tax system'01 Sep 2017
Reported in the Jersey Evening Post today:
JERSEY charities are missing out on millions of pounds of funding every year because the Island lacks a 21st-century solution for claiming back tax on charitable donations, according to a trustee of a local lobby group.
The Jersey Community Partnership, which carried out Jersey’s first charities survey last year, estimates that of the £80 million donated to Jersey charities annually only about £1 million is reclaimed in tax – far less than the £6 million to £8 million that, it says, should be available to them.
As a result, the JCP is now working with a number of other partners, including the States, to come up with a digital solution for the Island similar to the Gift Aid scheme in the UK.
JCP trustee Aidan McAvinue said the privately funded organisation – which was set up in 2016 to help improve the flow of money, ideas and volunteers around the voluntary and community sector in Jersey – had spoken to one of the Island’s biggest charities which receives about £8 million in income every year but only claims around £46,000 back in tax, a fraction of what it is entitled to.
The main barrier to claiming the tax, Mr McAvinue says, is the current system, which is a paper form that has to be filled in by the donor and the charity and then returned to the Taxes Office, where it is assessed and processed.
Currently, only donations of more than £50 qualify for the scheme, but in the UK any amount is eligible for a refund so long as the donor pays tax.