– My Legacy calls on the Government to encourage legacy gifts by removing VAT on will-making where a charitable bequest is included –
My Legacy, an umbrella group of 80 Irish charities, is calling on Government to help safeguard the future of charities by removing VAT from the cost of making a will where a charitable bequest is included. The group launched its Budget 2022 submission this week to coincide with the International Legacy Giving Day.
Currently charged at a rate of 23% VAT, My Legacy is asking the Government to encourage personal acts of kindness by making the cost of making a will, when a legacy gift is included, exempt from VAT. The group reports that if just 1,500 people made a will VAT-free, including a charitable bequest, it would only cost the exchequer €68,702. The group says the impact for recipient charities, as well as the incentive for more people to consider leaving a legacy gift, would be immense.
According to a survey of Irish solicitors carried out by My Legacy in March 2020, 76 per cent of respondents reported an increase in will-making enquiries as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, and of these, solicitors with online will-making facilities saw up to 50 per cent increase in enquiries.
Commenting on the launch of their Budget 2022 submission, Chairperson of My Legacy, Aoife Garvey said: “The past 18 months have been a difficult time for all, individually and collectively. In a year that was perhaps the most challenging ever for charities, as they continued to care for our most vulnerable citizens, many now face an uncertain future after huge disruption to annual fundraising campaigns.
“Legacy giving is vital for a sustainable, shock-proof future for Irish charities, but there’s a common misperception here that philanthropy and legacy giving is only for the wealthiest in society. The truth is that even a small gift could have a huge impact on a charity and its beneficiaries by helping to protect its services in the future.
“Making a will can also save a great deal of difficulty and pain for loved ones but compared to the higher uptake in other countries, many people in Ireland do not make a will at all, despite a growing awareness of how vital a life document is. We know the Covid-19 crisis has focused many people’s minds on getting their affairs in order and having open conversations about the future with family and friends.
“As a society, the past 18 months has made us all realise what is important to us and the power we have to make real and lasting change. We’re calling on the Government to make this change part of Budget 2022, in order to safeguard Irish charities into the future.”
Founded in 2006, My Legacy, which represents 80 Irish charities such as Concern, Irish Red Cross and Laura Lynn, works to raise awareness and access to legacy giving in Ireland as part of an annual awareness campaign, My Legacy Month, each November. As well as promoting the importance of making a will, My Legacy asks people to consider leaving a legacy gift to a favourite charity once family and friends have been taken care of.
For further information on member charities and advice on wills and legacy giving. visit www.mylegacy.ie.