Charity Small Donation Scheme – Put a Monkey in the Charity Box

Linton Zoo is just down the road from Saffron Walden and we decided that a day out to see lions and tigers would be a good idea. The zoo is in it’s 40th year so they must know what they are doing.

Getting ready consisted of Mrs TTF putting things in a bag’s hidden compartments whilst I read Dear Zoo for the millionth time to Jabo (First Born) and Baby Jarvis (Second Born). As time was marching on and I was “being useless” It was decided that we would buy J lunch and feed BJ some shop bought baby food as opposed to trying to heat up the Annabel Karmel blobs.

After another 20 minutes of wrestling with coats and my decision to wear a thin leather jacket (a quarter life crisis purchase!) we were on the road.

Linton Zoo is a great there are loads of animals including kangaroos, lions, tigers, mere cats etc. It just needed an elephant and giraffe and they would have the full set. We enjoyed it so much that Mrs TTF bought an annual pass. The only problem was that it was cold; let me restate that it was freezing. To qualify this fact I did not see any brass monkeys, probably due to them being embarrassed about losing their manhood. In summary a thin jacket was not a good idea.

So we decided to warm up in the café and feed the children. When asking J what he wanted he choose sausage and mash. When it arrived he decided that the portions were too large and that three mouthfuls were enough. He is obviously aiming for a life of fine dining. Whereas BJ refused to eat any of the shop bought baby food, to the extent that he made himself gag (I won’t say the make but they have lost a customer!). I finished off the sausage and mash which was very nice and then we headed out again for some more animal fun.

“Hallo”….”Hallo”….”Hallo”….”Hallo”, this was the conversation that was being conducted between Jabo and a Blue throated macaw. To be honest the odds were that it was a blue and gold macaw as the former is critically endangered whilst the latter is merely endangered.

You may conclude that I am an ornithologist with a great knowledge of the bird world. I would love to leave you with this impression but the information was gleaned from the sign next to the aviary which I had a lot of time to read!

Children are funny things, I would have thought that J would be roaring at the tigers and be in ore of the lions. But no all he wanted to do was stand outside this bloody giant bird cage, in a Siberian wind, having a one worded conversation with a glorified pigeon*!

As I was going the way of the brass monkey we eventually “convinced” J to leave the birds alone and left the zoo,. On the way out I noticed that Linton Zoo has an associated charity which is the Linton Zoo Conservation Fund and provides talks and activities for children to raise awareness of endangered species. So how can tax help this worthy cause?

*DISCLAIMER: This view was down to being cold, tired and hungry and does not reflect my actual view that they are beautiful birds of paradise.

THE TAX BIT

The obvious answer is gift aid but new proposals being introduced from April next year will enable additional relief to be claimed. The relief will be especially relevant for bucket collections and donation tins.

Is your charity aware of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme?

Traditional gift aid relief is only available if the donor has signed a declaration. The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme is intended to help charities claim relief where the donor is not known or it would be additionally complex to obtain the relevant information at the time of donation.

If small donations of £20 or less are made then gift aid will be available up to a maximum of £5,000* of donations without the need for a declaration. Therefore a maximum of £1,250 of gift aid will be available to the charity.  The claim will be made through the usual gift aid form.

Conditions

There are obviously a few hoops to jump through to avoid abuse the headline conditions are as follows:

  • All donations must be collected in the UK and paid into a UK bank account.
  • *The maximum relief is based on either the maximum limit of £5,000 or an amount equal to double the donations on which gift aid is claimed in the same year. i.e. the charity would have to receive traditionally gift aided donations of £2,500 to receive the maximum.
  • There will be no benefit to the Donor.
  • The charity will have made a successful gift aid claim in at least three out of the previous seven years.

There are some other more complicated rules in respect of community buildings and connected charities so as always check with your chartered tax advisor before doing anything. The relief has not been passed by parliament so is subject to change.

A good point to remember is that this will also apply to qualifying  Community Amateur Sports Clubs, so your local team could benefit too.

So next time J is talking to the animals I’m going to use the excuse of needing to find the charity tin to get inside out of the cold!

By Peter Cross

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