Latest news: Three key updates in legacy fundraising

Latest news: Three key updates in legacy fundraising

Rob Cope | 24 July 2019

Rob Cope from Remember A Charity takes over the news roundup blog to give us the latest updates from the legacy fundraising world.

I’m taking over the regular blog on fundraising news this month to give you a briefing following a busy month for legacy fundraising. We know that legacies generate over £3bn for good causes each year, and the Civil Society Almanac reported the staggering statistic of 50% growth in the last five years. But what is happening to support this valuable fundraising stream? Recent changes will have a big impact for an even brighter future for legacy fundraising.

Three things you need to know:

1. Tax Office agrees to continue rate that benefits charity giving

Great news this month – the Office of Tax Simplification backed our recommendation to retain the current inheritance tax (IHT) rate relief.

Charitable gifts in wills are currently exempt from IHT (charged at 40%) and those that donate over 10% of their estate to charity benefit from a discounted rate of 36% across the remaining value of their estate. The review questioned whether the 10% incentive – which applies to a minority of estates from which the majority of legacy income is raised – was to be continued.

If current giving levels continue, over the next five years over 10,000 estates will likely benefit from this reduced rate of tax, generating millions in legacy income.

2. Our idea on VAT exemption to grow legacies taken forward in Tax Commission recommendations

The Charity Tax Commission launched their report on 17 July. The independent group have been consulting with charities for their recommendations on how charity tax can be further improved; maximising the value of donations given, providing an incentive for people to give, and a sign of public recognition from central government that donating to charities is a positive social action.

Remember A Charity has been developing the idea of using VAT exemption to grow legacies over the past couple of years, so I’m delighted to see the Charity Tax Commission has taken this forward.

This is a great way of driving consideration and conversation. Fiscal incentives such as our VAT proposal have huge potential to be a powerful lever for change, and essentially gives fundraisers and solicitors another (and very valuable) avenue to talk louder about legacies.

We will be now working with colleagues across the sector and tax advisors in the coming months, building the case to create this change.
Dan Fluskey, IoF Head of Policy & External Affairs, has written a blog on this and the other recommendations being taken forward by the Commission.

3. News on an interim Legacy Notification Service

HM Courts & Tribunal Services released an announcement of the interim legacy notification service. The interim solution will see Smee & Ford notify charities when they have been named as an estate beneficiary, also providing a copy of the Will itself.
The working group will meet this week to explore new solutions, beyond the interim 12-month service, to ensure that any longer-term arrangements will build on these foundations and better support the needs of smaller charities and a wider range of causes.

Rob Cope MInstF (Dip) is Director of Remember A Charity, a consortium of more than 200 registered charities. Their aim is to do what no single charity has ever been able to achieve on its own – to change the perceptions and perspectives of the nation towards charitable legacies.

Find out more about this year’s Remember A Charity Week (9-15 September 2019) by visiting the website


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