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Plans shelved for joint registration portal for Charity Commission and HMRC

17 Sep 2018 News

The government has abandoned a project to create a joint portal for HMRC and the Charity Commission that would mean charities would only have to register once with both institutions. 

At the moment charities with income over £5,000 have to register with the Commission and again with HMRC to be able to claim Gift Aid and other tax relief. 

Plans for joint registration were announced in 2013 but have already been delayed a number of times. 

In minutes of their most recent meeting with charity representatives recently HMRC confirmed that plans for the portal would “no longer be taken forward”

It said this was because co-operation between the Commission and HMRC was “now much improved”. It also said that because the average length of time that it takes for charities to register with HMRC after registering with the Charity Commission is nine years “a joint portal was therefore unlikely to benefit the majority of charities”. 

A joint registration process was one of the recommendations made following inquiries by the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts committee, in the wake of the 2013 scandal over the Cup Trust - a charity which had been set up to try and exploit the Gift Aid system.

It was also one of the measures recommended by Lord Hodgson in his review of the Charities Act in 2012, which looked at ways to reduce red tape for charities. 

When Civil Society News asked for an update in February this year HMRC said it was still working on the project. 

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