LATELY — 15 May 2012

Getting Charity Shops to Sell Your Stuff For You

I discovered the most amazing thing today: in the UK, if Charity Shops are to claim Gift Aid on your donation (a tax incentive worth about 20% of its value), they are required by law to first offer you the proceeds of the sale. I got a letter explaining this from Sue Ryder the other day: “If you want to reclaim the proceeds from the sale of your donations for yourself, please write to us within 21 days…”

There’s more information about this surprising situation in the HMRC’s “Carrying out the sale on behalf of the owner.” What I don’t understand now is how Charities are supposed to prevent people from using them to sell their stuff–Sue Ryder, for example, only charge a 2% commission for handling the sale. (I think this is low because they’re not allowed to claim Gift Aid on the “commission” in the event that the proceeds are donated.)

I guess they could refuse to take on a consignment from a regular offender? Perhaps if there’s no attempt to claim Gift Aid they can keep the entire proceeds?

“Once the item has been sold the individual must be told how much it was sold for and be given the opportunity to choose whether to keep all or part of the proceeds or donate all or part of those proceeds to the charity.” – Claiming Gift Aid when goods are sold by, and the proceeds gifted to, charities