Treasury response to gift aid and digital giving consultation

The government has rejected calls to introduce a central database of gift aid declarations, which many in the sector believe would simplify the system and increase take-up of the tax-free giving scheme.

In its response to the gift aid and digital giving consultation the Treasury said it has no current plans to introduce a universal gift aid declaration database.

The consultation, which ran between July and September last year, sought views on the merits of such a database and other proposals aimed at improving uptake of gift aid, which contributes more than a £1billion a year to the charity sector.  

Such a database would mean that donors would only have to provide one gift aid declaration which could then be applied to all their donations to all charities, negating the need for charities to obtain new declarations from the same donor each time.

The Treasury’s response to the consultation says respondents were broadly supportive of a universal gift aid declaration database and had wide-ranging views on what a successful model could look like.

A database could also provide a better experience for donors, up-to-date information on an individual’s tax arrangements for charities, help charities to forecast gift aid declarations and potentially increase the take-up of the scheme, the response said.

It did not say why it would not introduce a universal database at this stage, but estimates from respondents as to the cost of such a tool ranged from £1million to £20million.

The response confirms that the government will work with the charity sector and behavioural insights unit in the Cabinet Office to amend the model gift aid declaration to make it more user-friendly. It will also enable a single declaration to apply to all donations made via a non-charity intermediary, such as JustGiving.

As stated in this year’s Budget, the government will legislate, through the Finance Bill 2015, to allow intermediaries to take a greater role in the gift aid process. This would enable them to administer gift aid directly, collect and pass on declarations to charities, or other intermediaries, and to make the gift aid claim.

The government will also legislate on the definition of an intermediary and the different functions it can exercise in administering gift aid and potentially in passing on declarations, and a regulatory framework for such intermediaries.

To download the full consultation response visit