Presented to Parliament by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, the 2013 Autumn Statement contains a number of measures that will have an impact upon the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.
According to the Autumn Statement, the Government will introduce:
– Legislation to amend the definition of a charity for tax purposes to put beyond doubt that entities established for the purpose of tax avoidance are not entitled to claim charitable tax reliefs.
– “Objective criteria” for identifying high-risk promoters of tax-avoidance schemes and will impose a stricter regime to govern them. Clients of high-risk promoters will also be required to identify themselves to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
– A joint registration process to allow charities to register with the Charity Commission and HMRC at the same time.
– A new tax relief for social investment in April 2014. The Government intends to widen the scope of the relief, compared with measures originally proposed in a consultation in June 2013 and will produce a “road map” for social investment in January.
– A discount of up to £1,000 on business rate bills for retail premises with rateable values of up to £50,000, including charity shops, for the next two years (2014/15 and 2015/16). Charity shops are already entitled to 80% mandatory business rate relief.
– The removal of employer National Insurance contributions for under-21s earning below £813 per week.
– A cap of 2% on business rates in England and Wales. Businesses moving into vacant properties will have their rates cut by 50%.
– Will establish a new working group to revise the model Gift Aid Declaration to make it easier to understand, and to develop new promotional material to increase take-up.