HM Revenue & Customs ‘failed to collect data on Gift Aid and its effect on giving’

A report by the Public Accounts Committee says that, as a result, the evidence for increased charitable giving is at best inconclusive

HM Revenue & Customs has failed to collect data to evaluate whether Gift Aid and reliefs on donations are encouraging more people to give to charity, the Public Accounts Committee has concluded.

The report, Gift Aid and Other Tax Reliefs on Charitable Donations, published today, is based on evidence HMRC gave during a session of the committee in December after the National Audit Office report on Gift Aid was published.

It says that when reliefs were reformed in 2000, the Inland Revenue, HMRC’s predecessor, said it would monitor and evaluate the effects of the measures – but "HMRC has failed to plan for how to achieve this or to collect relevant data".

The report adds: "HMRC does not know if these reliefs have encouraged more people to give more to charity as was intended, and the evidence for increased charitable giving is at best inconclusive."

The report says that HMRC does not have enough information about the effect of changes to corporate Gift Aid in 2000 and that there is some evidence, from an evaluation in 2005, that it has reduced the income charities receive from donations by companies.

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