After almost five years of inactivity, plans to develop a joint registration portal between HMRC and the Charity Commission, which were first announced in 2013, have been dropped, leaving many charities concerned with the lack of prior consultation.
Presently, charities with income over £5,000 have to register first with the Commission and then again with HMRC to be able to claim Gift Aid and other tax relief.
HMRC initially suggested that the creation of the portal was no longer necessary owing to the improvement in relations between the two bodies. However, it has since confirmed that the plans were abandoned as a result of Brexit needing to be prioritised.
The portal was originally intended to improve communication between the two bodies, to help to catch criminals, to mitigate the volume of administration involved associated with registration and ultimately make the lives of charities that little bit easier.
Despite many charities feeling disenchanted following the announcement, the Charity Commission has said that it is confident that the sector will not be harmed by the decision to halt proceedings.
Stuart Wood, head of registration at the Charity Commission, said: “Both the sector and the work of the Commission have moved on considerably since the recommendations were first made. Among the most important changes are the introduction of CIOs and the improvement of information sharing between HMRC and the Commission.”
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