We took our house guest along to Windsor Castle yesterday, however one of the most amazing things was that whilst waiting in the queue to go in (remembering that Windsor Castle technically belongs to the state) was that we were asked if we wanted to Gift Aid our admission.
For those of you unaware of the scheme, Gift Aid was a process brought in by the government whereby charities could claim back any tax paid by a UK tax payer on donations made to their charity. In the case of our church it gets us an extra 28p per Â£1 donated under the scheme. However various museums and the like hit upon a way whereby they could get more Gift Aid by classifying admission to their museums as a donation. Last year it was announced that this was to be clamped down upon by the Inland Revenue as it wasn’t a genuine donation and against the spirit of a scheme to encourage charity donation, i.e. I had to donate exactly Â£12.50 to get into Windsor Castle, I couldn’t opt to donate some other amount, or nothing at all and still get in. The new rules, which come in next year are detailed on the Inland Revenue site, and also in this BBC News item.