Funding & Income

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The Coalition government has stepped up its process of decentralisation and devolution of power to local authorities and their communities. Local authorities will have the liberty to make decisions about allocation of resources free from central government guidelines. An increasing role for the VCS to deliver public services is expected. VCS organisations are expected to have a key role to play in identifying needs as well as delivering services. This page deals with policies that have an impact on funding, commissioning and procurement for the VCS.

Black Philanthropy Action Group - Members needed!

Communities Inc, a new national body specialising in innovative and creative community engagement has been asked by the Office for Civil Society to organise an action group on Black Philanthropy following our recent work in establishing a Centre for Black Philanthropy. For details visit

Big Society Capital launched

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has officially launched the £600million social investment wholesaler Big Society Capital. Big Society Capital will invest in organisations that lend money to charities and social enterprises. It is funded with money from unclaimed assets in dormant bank accounts, believed to be worth around £400million over the next four years, and with £200million from four major high-street banks. The organisation has been ready to start lending since the New Year, but has been awaiting approvals from the Financial Services Authority and the Cabinet Office.

Government issues guidance on tax relief caps

The Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs have issued new guidance explaining how a new cap on tax reliefs for charitable giving will work, which confirms the government's belief that donors should pay tax on large donations. The government announced in last month's Budget that, from April 2013, anyone donating more than £50,000 a year or a quarter of their income, whichever is higher, will not be able to reclaim all the tax they have paid on their donations. The new guidance confirms that any money claimed by the charity under Gift Aid will be considered part of the donation.

Consultation on gift aid small donations scheme

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has opened a consultation on the proposed gift aid small donations scheme, which will allow charities to claim gift aid on £5,000 worth of small donations each year without needing to submit a gift aid declaration signed by the donor.

The measure was announced in last year's Budget, when the Chancellor stated that it would apply to donations of up to £10. This year's Budget confirmed that the move was still in the pipeline and doubled the limit for each individual donation to £20. The change is intended to take effect from 6 April 2013.

Increase in postal costs from 30 April

Royal Mail has announced that from 30 April a first-class stamp will go up from 46p to 60p and a second-class stamp from 36p to 50p. Mail franked in-house will increase in price from 39p to 44p for first class and 28p to 31p for second-class post. VAT will also be charged on addressed direct mailings from 2 April, which the Direct Marketing Association, which represents direct mail firms, estimated in January would cost charities £17.9m a year. VAT has been charged on unaddressed bulk mail since 31 January 2011. Stamps do not attract VAT.

Website calls to abandon cap on tax reliefs

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Charities Aid Foundation have set up Give It Back, George, a website calling on the Chancellor, George Osborne, to abandon the proposed cap on tax reliefs. The site is designed to act as a focal point for lobbying the government over the measure, announced in this years' Budget. The cap will mean that the tax relief an individual can claim in any year will be limited to a quarter of their income or £50,000, whichever is higher, from April 2013.

VCS related highlights from 2012 Budget

Whilst Chancellor George Osborne made no mention of the VCS in his Budget speech on Wednesday 21 March, the full Budget document contains several references to the sector, including:

Latest blog post from Rachel Quinn

Rachel Quinn, One East Midlands Chief Executive, has published her latest blog post entitled Grant funding - You actually have to apply if you want some!! To read the full post click here.

New definition of a charity to affect charity tax reliefs

Charities that do not claim gift aid, but do claim other UK charity tax reliefs and exemptions administered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will be affected by its new definition of a charity from the beginning of April. From 1 April 2012 onwards, the Finance Act 2010, Schedule 6, Part 1 (Further Consequential and Incidental Provision Etc) Order 2012/735 and the Finance Act 2010, Schedule 6, Part 2 (Commencement) Order 2012.


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