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Small Charitable Donations Act 2012 2012-13

Royal Assent

(This Bill is from a previous session)


  • Bill status:

    Bill is now an Act

  • Type of Bill:

    Government Bill


Last event

  • Royal Assent Royal Assent

    19 Dec 2012

    Royal Assent has been granted to the Bill, and it becomes the Small Charitable Donations Act 2012.


The Bill was announced in the Queen's speech of 9 May 2012 and introduced to the House of Commons on 21 June. It will apply to the whole of the UK. The Bill will be the subject of the government's second trial of a public reading stage system, under which the public's comments on specific clauses and schedules are fed back to Parliament.

It aims to increase income and reduce administration for charities by introducing top up payments for small cash donations.

The Bill will allow for:

  • the introduction of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, under which charities will receive top up payments equivalent to Gift Aid on small donations, without needing to obtain a Gift Aid declaration
  • a limit of £5,000 to be imposed on the total amount on which a charity can claim under the scheme
  • protections against abuse of the scheme by charities that are connected to one another and operate broadly as a single entity
  • protections against fraud by requiring charities to have a three year record of successful Gift Aid claims before they can benefit from the scheme

The Bill is designed to allow the same tax relief for small cash donations of up to £20 as is currently allowed for formal donations for which a Gift Aid declaration can be collected. This will allow charities to claim against, for example, cash collected in on-the-street campaigns, for which Gift Aid declarations cannot practically be obtained.

The Bill is not controversial and is likely to be supported by all corners of Parliament.

The Bill has generally been welcomed by charity groups, although the Charity Finance Group, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and the Charities Aid Foundation have raised concerns over its details. The Charities Aid Foundation has said that the whole Gift Aid system should be radically simplified with a 'once only' online registration form for donors.