Jewish schools win vital tax break

After extensive negotiations, HMRC has agreed to restore Gift Aid for contributions for Jewish studies


The tax authorities have given Jewish schools a welcome New Year break by restoring their right to claim Gift Aid on parental donations for Jewish studies.

The announcement of the decision by HMRC followed a meeting today between the Prime Minister Theresa May and communal leaders where the issue was raised.

A number of schools had already been deprived over the past two or three years of their Gift Claims, costing a school such as JFS hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

Had the policy been extended, the financial viability of some state-aided Jewish schools could have been threatened since they rely on parental contributions to support religious education.

Rabbi David Meyer, executive director of Partnerships for Jewish Schools, which chaired a communal working party to resolve the problem, welcomed “the decision of the HMRC which recognises the importance of parent’s contributions to their children’s schools. This is a community-wide effort that has ensured that state schools across the country will be celebrating this decision.”

Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies said the HMRC decision followed  “a concerted effort from the Jewish community, including the Board of Deputies and Pajes, and will be greeted as a very significant decision for our communal schools.”

The decision is likely to benefit schools beyond the Jewish community as an increasing number of state schools have been seeking parental support for education amid constraints on state funding.



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