AIM & Plus quoted markets – Charitable gifts
HMRC have at long last made the orders which recognise the AIM and PLUS-quoted markets as designated markets for the purposes of tax relief on qualifying donations to charity.
HMRC recognised that AIM shares had previously qualified for relief but technically fell out of the definition of qualifying shares for charitable donation purposes on 19 July 2007. From that date, the relevant exchange had to be formally designated instead of being a "recognised stock exchange". HMRC had also said that they intended to designate the PLUS-quoted market as from 19 July 2007 but did not do so until 20 May 2009.
During the ensuing period (almost 22 months), donors have been unable to claim tax relief for gifts of AIM or PLUS-quoted shares to charity. This was also a problem for the charities as only Qualifying donations are treated as equivalent to cash gifts made net of income tax, enabling the charity to reclaim the gift aid element and the individual to claim higher rate income tax relief.
The effect of the change is that all donations of AIM shares made on or after 19 July 2007 are now validated for gift relief automatically. Anyone who made a donation of AIM shares between then and 5 April 2008 and did not claim gift relief can now correct their return to make the necessary claim.
HMRC say that claims relating to donations of PLUS-quoted shares on or after 19 July 2007 "will be dealt with on a case by case basis". The difference in treatment seems to be because PLUS-quoted was not previously accepted as a recognised stock exchange but HMRC say that they do not intend to disadvantage claimants.