Bloomberg News

Cameron Suggests U.K. Charity Tax Changes May Be Watered Down

April 11, 2012

Prime Minister David Cameron suggested he may water down plans to prevent tax avoidance on charitable donations, saying he will listen to British charities that fear a loss of income.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne proposed last month to cap tax relief, including that on donations, at 50,000 pounds ($80,000) a year or no higher than a quarter of an individual’s income to stop rich donors from using such contributions to lower their tax bill. Charities attacked the plan.

“There is no doubt that abuse is taking place,” Cameron said at a news conference in Jakarta today during a trip to Southeast Asia. He promised to “look very sympathetically” at the case put forward by charities before the government publishes proposals in the third quarter.

Cameron said this week he’s ready to be the first British premier to publish his tax returns, according to a person close to him, as he seeks to defuse accusations that he’ll benefit personally from a cut in the top rate of income tax next year. Osborne reduced the levy on incomes above 150,000 pounds a year to 45 percent from 50 percent, arguing that it would help cut down tax avoidance.

John Low, the chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said in a statement on the body’s website yesterday that philanthropists give much more than they can claim as tax relief.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gonzalo Vina in Jakarta at gvina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net


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