Exbury Gardens, coupled with a passenger-carrying steam railway, in south Hampshire (well worth a visit), have been slow to take up the idea of Gift Aid on entrance charges. For this season, however, the charity is tackling the subject with zeal. The most prominent prices are those with Gift Aid, and visitors are expected to say if they would porefer the cheaper (non-Gift Aid) version.
The Gift Aid version costs approxcimately 10 per cent more than the standard charge. A basic rate taxpayer, therefore, can take comfort from the fact that, by paying about 10 per cent more, the Gardens are getting, from HMRC, 25 per cent of the amount he or she pays.
For higher rate taxpayers, there is a tax saving of 20 per cent on the grossed up cost of the ticket – provided they remember to claim it in their tax return. I get the feeling that many taxpayers in that bracket simply do not bother to make a note at the time, so that they can include it in a subsequent tax return.