Not very exciting I'm afraid! I've typed in the response I received below. The 
abridged version: 

* They admit that the HMRC Charities Unit are well behind their response 
targets 
* The cause is the changes to the income tax rates plus an increase in 
applications 
* They have trained more staff and changed their computer system to cope with 
the backlog and improved their advice to applicants 

regards, 

Andrew Turvey 
Secretary, 
Wikimedia UK 
Wikimedia UK is the operating name of Wiki UK Limited. 
Wiki UK Ltd is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and Wales, 
Registered No. 6741827. 
The Registered Office is at 23 Cartwright Way, Nottingham, NG9 1RL, United 
Kingdom. 

===== 

18 May 

Dear Mr Turvey, 

Please find enclosed a response received from the Minister at the Treasury 
regarding the questions you raised about Gift Aid. 

I hope the reply is of assistance but if you have further questions or concerns 
please do not hesitate to contact Nick's office again. 

Yours sincerely, 

Parliamentary Assistant to Nick Palmer MP 

==== 

From: Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury. 

11 May 

Dear Nick, 

Thank you for your letter of 25 March to Alistair Darling enclosing 
correspondence from your constituent, Andrew Turvey, Secretary of Wiki UK 
Limited of 23 Cartwright Way, Beeston, Nottingham, about Gift Aid. I have been 
asked to reply 

I am sorry that Mr Turvey experienced delays in receiving a response from HM 
Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to his enquiries. 

As you may know, organisations not already registered with the Charity 
Commission must apply to HMRC for recognition as a charity for tax purposes. In 
2008-09, HMRC aimed to respond to 85% of these applications within 15 (working) 
days, 95% within 40 days and the balance within 60. The number of new 
applications increased by 19% in 2008-09, and this increased workload was a 
factor in HMRC not meeting its 15 day target. However, HMRC did consider 98% of 
applications within 40 days and 100% within 60 working days. A response to the 
application from Wikimedia Ltd (sic), asking for further information to support 
the application, was issued after 51 days. 

HMRC is working on improvements to make the application process easier, to help 
organisations to get it right first time and so reduce the number of 
applications needing enquiries. This will, in turn, reduce the waiting time for 
new applicants. 

Mr. Turvey says that it is taking HMRC six weeks to process Gift Aid repayment 
claims. HMRC aims to repay 97% of complete and correct claims within 15 days 
and first claims within 25 days. For 2008-09 a little over 50% of claims were 
repaid within 15 days. This delay has been caused by a greater than usual 
number of incorrect claims following the change to the basic rate of tax and 
the introduction of the Transitional Relief. HMRC hopes to resume its normal 
target now that additional staff have been trained and changes to the 
repayments computer application have been made. 

I understand that HMRC has recently written to Mr Turvey about his application. 

Please pass on my thanks to Mr Turvey for taking the trouble to raise his 
concerns about this with us. 

Yours ever, 

Steven 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Bimmler" <mbimm...@gmail.com> 
To: "Andrew Turvey" <ratur...@yahoo.co.uk>, wikimediauk-l@lists.wikimedia.org 
Sent: Friday, 22 May, 2009 17:23:30 GMT +00:00 GMT Britain, Ireland, Portugal 
Subject: Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Minutes of the last meeting 

On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 1:21 AM, Andrew Turvey <ratur...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote: 

> 
> AT reported two items of correspondence: 
> 
> # A letter from our MP, with a response from the minister responsible 
> regarding the HMRC delays. 
> 

Any chance that this letter or at least a summary will be made public, 
at least amongst members? 

Thanks, 
M. 

-- 
Michael Bimmler 
mbimm...@gmail.com 

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