Number of HMRC investigations into Gift Aid claims doubled last year

Figures show that 1,057 checks and audits of charity claims for the tax relief were carried out in 2012/13, up from 510 the previous year

HM Revenue & Customs more than doubled the number of investigations it made into charity claims for Gift Aid last year, new figures show.

According to figures obtained by the accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy under the Freedom of Information Act, HMRC carried out 1,057 checks and audits of charity claims for Gift Aid tax relief in 2012/13, compared with 510 the year before.

HMRC raised more than £6m in additional tax last year as a result of the increased scrutiny, Wilkins Kennedy said, compared with £10.4m of additional tax in the previous year.

A spokesman for HMRC said that it had doubled the resources it had devoted to charity compliance over the past four years. But he said that most charities played by the rules. “The government has given HMRC additional funding of more than a billion pounds to ensure a level playing field for all taxpayers,” he said.

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