How Envelope Systems won its appeal to HMRC
A surprise announcement was made in late October 2015 changing Gift Aid declaration wording. The previous wording of 2012 had not made Gift Aid clear ‘without doubt’ after all, and a new simplified version was required.
HMRC imposed another harsh deadline of 05 April 2016 for moving to the new wording, barely five months from announcing the change.
Thousands of our customers stood to incur costs of hundreds of thousands of pounds through being forced to throw out millions of perfectly good envelopes by this deadline.
After a week of listening to the anguish, Envelope Systems made a written appeal to HMRC, outlining the unfairness and the wastefulness of the deadline, and attaching the letter from 2012.
It was accompanied by our famous ‘Stop Waste’ petition set up at the campaigning website, change.org. Victory came within 24 hours of the petition being launched on 04 November, by which time more than 700 treasurers and officers from churches and charities had signed.
New names were being added at more than one a minute when the announcement came from HMRC that churches and charities would be allowed to use up existing stocks on an unlimited basis with no deadline.
In an email to Envelope Systems' MD Penny Miles, HMRC confirmed the removal of the April deadline:
The customer reaction
to the news was quite overwhelming and we would like to thank you all for getting in touch.
Standing up for our customers
You may think it unusual that a company like Envelope Systems would make such an appeal when we stood to gain from an increase in sales between now and Spring as everyone was forced to replace their envelopes. But that’s not us, and it’s not our way. For 82 years we have put the interests of our customers ahead of short term profit. We always will.
We are delighted that Envelope Systems won this concession for all the churches and charities that would have been affected by this wording update, customers and those yet to become customers.
published on 5 November 2015
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