Why we can all afford to be (a bit) philanthropic

Posted by Helen Bunker on

Whether you call it ‘charity’, ‘philanthropy’ or a fantastic marketing exercise, one thing is for certain – the largest gift in benevolence history occurred last week when Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged to donate around $45 billion during their lifetimes. Wow. That level of generosity is unfathomable to the majority of us mere mortals, but it made me stop and think about the kind of difference that we can make to the great organisations that have touched our lives.

There is no question that the UK is a bighearted nation.

To support ‘lifetime giving’, the government’s Gift Aid initiative goes a long way in strengthening donations made by UK taxpayers through allowing registered UK charities or community amateur sports clubs ('charities') to claim an extra 25p per £1 donation, in the majority of cases. A higher rate taxpayer can also claim additional tax benefits for the donations.

It is also possible to leave gifts to charity in your Will. In fact, all donations to charities are exempt from inheritance tax (IHT), which currently stands at 40% above the available nil rate band. However, if more than 10% of your net estate (i.e. your gross estate less all liabilities at the date of death) is left to a registered charity, then the IHT rate drops to 36%.

Major life events, such as the birth of a child as seen in Mark and Priscilla’s case, are always a time for reflection and review, but there is one more thing that is certain since I started writing this post – those of us who have less than $45 billion to donate can still make a difference.

If you would like to know more about charitable giving, either during your lifetime or in your Will, please contact Elysa, or your usual Blake Morgan adviser.

About the Author

Photograph of Helen Bunker

Helen is a Partner and specialises in Private Law based in our London office.

Helen Bunker
Email Helen
020 7014 5246

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