ISSUE 17, April 2006
Editorial
Historic: The Brother who designed the Spitfire
Travel: The charm of Kerala
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's speech and Quarterly Communication
Public Relations: Hottest spot in town
International: Emulation in Bulgaria and Mauritius takes a leap forward and Hungary's Royal Arch library
Library & Museum: Recent acquisitions
Masonic Bibles: Lodges and their Bibles
    Royal Masonic Girls' School: My thanks to the Freemasons
Holocaust: The Count of Auschwitz
Education: International conference on the history of Freemasonry and Events
Specialist Lodges: Masonry universal - via radio
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity continues to help those in need and New Masonic Samaritan Fund and Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
Grand Charity: The Tsunami - one year on and Important Gift Aid information
Letters, Book Reviews, and Gardening

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Important Gift-Aid information
The Inland Revenue has confirmed that, under the current arrangements in place for the Annual Contribution to the Grand Charity, the annual payment is not eligible for relief under the Gift Aid scheme.
    This decision only relates to the Annual Contribution paid for each member by his Lodge and follows discussions over three years between the Grand Charity and the Charities Technical Advice Unit of the Inland Revenue
    In 2002, the Inland Revenue approved the Grand Charity’s initial application for relief. However, this decision was reversed in 2003, as part of a wider review by the Inland Revenue of the Gift Aid scheme. At that time, the eligibility of a number of charities to receive Gift Aid relief on membershiprelated payments was questioned and a more restrictive interpretation of the legislation was introduced.
    The Grand Charity will continue to review, with the United Grand Lodge of England and the Metropolitan and Provincial Grand Lodges, the possibility of changing the current arrangements for the collection of the Annual Contribution, to enable it to become eligible under the Gift Aid scheme.
    However, the Revenue have emphasised that, to be eligible, any payment must be voluntarily given and it is unlikely that such a scheme could be introduced for the central charitable contribution of all Freemasons required to make the existing Annual Contribution to the Grand Charity.
    Furthermore, the Council of the Grand Charity consider that the prior and full approval of the Inland Revenue would be necessary before implementing any scheme.
    Individual donations to the Grand Charity continue to qualify and members are urged to sign Gift Aid Declarations to enable the Charity to claim the tax relief.


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