Thank you to our supporters – TravelPledge Review

Click here to download the TravelPledge_Review

The really hard work has been done; we have a stable technology platform and all the processes in place to ensure efficient collection and transfer of funds to the destinations that really need it. We have secured a small number of outstanding visionary travel industry supporters who have helped us to raise nearly £60,000 for projects in 12 different countries. Thank you to all those travellers who have made donations.

Moving into our third year we now have the enthusiasm, stability and technology to grow.

The work we do with our supporters enables travellers to reach out and benefit local charitable initiatives in the places they visit. These projects need and deserve our support; in many cases communities do not have any other opportunity to raise money from people visiting the place they call home.

Please do read our short review and if you are a travel business owner / employee or traveller please do consider supporting us in the future.

Click here to download the TravelPledge_Review

New Tax measures affecting charities

New Tax measures affecting charities – March Budget 2011

Gift Aid

2.112 Gift Aid benefit limits – The Gift Aid benefit limit will be increased from £500 to £2,500, subject to the existing 5 per cent limit, from April 2011. New guidance will be published to help clarify what constitutes a benefit. (Finance Bill 2011)

2.113 Gift Aid small donations scheme – From April 2013, the Government will introduce a new scheme to allow charities to claim Gift Aid on up to £5,000 of small donations without the need for Gift Aid declarations. (51)

2.114 Gift Aid online filing – The Government confirms that it will introduce an online system for charities to claim Gift Aid and as a first step will shortly be publishing ‘intelligent’ forms (which contain automatic checks) for charities to use to apply for and claim tax reliefs. Budget 2011 61

2.115 Self Assessment (SA) Donate – To help fund the introduction of Gift Aid online filing, the Government will withdraw SA Donate for tax returns for 2011-12 onwards. (Finance Bill 2012)

Other tax measures affecting charities

2.116 Inheritance tax: reduced rate for charitable donations – From 6 April 2012, the Government will introduce a reduced rate of inheritance tax of 36 per cent for estates leaving 10 per cent or more to charity. (Finance Bill 2012) (50)

2.117 Gifts of works of art – The Government will consult in 2011 on proposals to encourage donations of pre-eminent works of art or historical objects to the nation in return for a tax reduction.

2.118 In-year repayments on tax to charities – The Government will legislate an extra statutory concession under which HMRC makes repayments of tax to certain charities without requiring a tax return to be completed. (Finance Bill 2012)

2.119 Changes to the substantial donors rules – In December 2010, the Government published draft clauses to replace the substantial donors to charities legislation. This anti avoidance legislation denies relief where the donor enters into arrangements with the main purpose of obtaining a financial advantage from the charity. The new rules will commence from April 2011. (Finance Bill 2011)

the complete Budget report can be found here: http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/2011budget_complete.pdf

Red Cross response to Japanese earthquake

Since writing the below article the British Red Cross are now accepting donations, please visit: http://www.redcross.org.uk/japantsunami/?approachcode=68861_blogjapan

Like many of you, we have seen the images coming out of Japan and are moved to see if there is some way we can help. This type of disaster is not something that TravelPledge, with our limited resource, can hope to support in any great capacity. However, we have monitored the British Red Cross to see if we can at least guide our supporters to an effective and capable organisation to help with the long and difficult recovery.

Their statement today is:

We are receiving a large number of inquiries about donations for Japan.

We cannot accept donations where the country affected has not asked for them. The Japanese Red Cross has been working on the ground since the tsunami hit in large numbers, providing first aid and healthcare. It has not requested money, supplies or personnel from us so far. The Japanese Red Cross is a large, well-funded organisation, with a huge amount of experience dealing with natural disasters and well-established emergency response plans and supplies. We have to take our lead from them. We are immensely grateful for our supporters’ willingness to give and appreciate it is frustrating not being able to do so. We will let you know immediately should the position change.

While the Japanese government has asked for some specific operational support from the UK, there has been no request at this time to launch a general appeal for funds from the Japanese Red Cross.

For more information the Directors at TravelPledge suggest you monitor the Red Cross Blog: http://blogs.redcross.org.uk/


Is There a Right Way to Spend Money When Traveling?

KEVIN SALWEN writes an interesting article in the NY Times.

Click here to read his article on the NYTimes website

What are your thoughts?

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