Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



In November 1999, the British government announced important legislative reforms affecting the various methods of providing charitable contributions. The government expressed its desire to create a "democracy of giving" by expanding tax relief for charitable donations. These changes took effect in April 2000.

This note argues that the recent legislation reforms, while a step in the right direction, do not create a true "democracy of giving." In arriving at this conclusion, the note will outline the evolution of British tax law related to individual charitable donations. The note will also explore the problems experienced by the charitable sector that prompted legislative reform, and will provide an overview of recent reforms in this area. An overview of the recent reforms will be provided. Finally, the note suggests that adopting U.S.-style tax relief for charitable donations would better achieve the British government's goal of creating a true "democracy of giving."