News : Britons donate less than Americans
The Americans are three times more likely to include charities in their will than the British. Whilst 20% of Americans make provision for charities in their will, only 7% of the British do so.
The Legacy 10 campaign aims to encourage people to give more to charity especially as a favourable change in inheritance tax laws came into effect from April 2012.
It maybe that a lower overall tax take in the United States and a less comprehensive welfare state than in the United Kingdom is a significant factor on why there is such a difference between the two countries.
Certainly in the UK, with such an extensive system of welfare support, many Britons may feel that they are already contributing already to the poor and needy.
From 6th April 2012 the inheritance tax rate will be cut from 40 per cent to 36 per cent for anyone who leaves more than 10 per cent of their net estate to charity.
Whilst the inheritance tax threshold has been frozen at £325,000 until 2015, this is no longer a tax just for the “rich”, many people in Britain will be exposed to this tax, especially people in London and the South East of England where even modest properties can push them into the inheritance tax bracket.
The campaigners want “legacy10” to become as familiar as HM Revenue and Customs’ gift aid scheme, under which charities can maximise donations by claiming back the basic rate of tax paid by the donor.
A Legacy 10 spokesman added: “For those already planning to leave a legacy of 4 per cent it will cost their beneficiary no more to increase that to 10 per cent.
The campaign has so far attracted the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Legacy10 has set up a website www.legacy10.com to allow people to calculate how their estates change. Visitors can also take a pledge to support the scheme, by signing up on the website.