Charity Consortium, Remember a Charity, has urged the UK Government to exempt VAT from the cost of writing a Will containing a charitable bequest.
The consortium predicts a VAT exemption on charitable wills would double the number of people leaving a gift to charity, generating a further £800m for the voluntary sector.
Rob Cope, Remember a Charity director, said “While this change would come at a relatively low cost to government, this could make a huge difference to charities, giving solicitors and will- writers cause to highlight the option and benefits of legacy giving with all clients.”
“We need to ensure that legacy giving is not just something reserved for the wealthiest in society; that it is something we are all given the opportunity to do.”
Legacy giving is a vital source of funds for charities and accounts for £2.5 billion of charitable income each year. Backing the recommendation is The Charity Finance Group, its head of policy and engagement, Andrew O’Brien said: “Legacies are a growing and important way that the public supports good causes. It is critical that we make giving as easy and effective as possible.”
Also supporting the move is the Institute of Fundraising, with its head of public affairs Mike Smith adding “This small change in the cost of writing a will could make a massive difference in the number of people who decide to leave a gift to charity.”
“The Government has been really supportive of efforts to increase legacy giving, and we are encouraging them to back this small reduction in tax to help raise millions for good causes.”