In Wednesday’s (3/23) The Stage (London), Alistair Smith writes, “Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has unveiled a range of measures in his budget that are intended to help encourage private giving to the arts. These changes will include a number of simplifications to Gift Aid as well as changes to inheritance tax to encourage charitable giving in wills. The government has also said it will to consult on extending the acceptance-in-lieu scheme on works of art from inheritance tax to other lifetime taxes. … Under these changes, Gift Aid will shift to a ‘much easier online system’ by 2013. … Meanwhile, on small donations, charities will be able to claim up to a total of £5,000 a year without the need for donors to fill in any forms at all. According to Osborne, 100,000 charities will benefit to the tune of £240 million from this change. … [Arts Council of England] chief executive Alan Davey said: ‘The necessary change to the Gift Aid regime is something the Arts Council highlighted in our report on endowments in the arts, so I am delighted to see this reflected in the Budget. It will make a real difference to arts organisations, large and small. Anything that improves the ability of the arts to attract income from legacies is also welcome.’ ”

Posted March 25, 2011