FAQs: Gift Aid
Gift Aid is a simple initiative which allows you to
increase the amount raised from UK taxpayers on cash donations.
Don't be put off by thinking it's time-consuming, it's definitely
worth the effort!
What is Gift Aid?
Gift Aid is quite simply free money and a great way to boost
your charitable organisation's income. The official terminology
from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is 'Gift Aid is a tax relief
which allows a charity to reclaim from HMRC the basic rate of
Income Tax a donor has paid on their donation (gift).' In layman's
terms this means that those supporters who are current UK tax
payers are eligible to Gift Aid their cash donations. This gives
you an extra 25p for every £1 donated.
How does Gift Aid work?
When a UK taxpayer makes a monetary donation to your cause (that
is an outright gift), they have already paid tax on that money. You
can, through Gift Aid, reclaim the tax paid. By asking your
supporters for permission to reclaim the tax they have already paid
on their donation, you can increase the value of such donations by
a whopping 25%!
Are there any specific rules?
Your charity of sports club needs to register with HMRC, and the
donor cannot receive goods or services in return for their cash
gift. Gift Aid could apply for:
Sponsored events: As long as the supporter
receives nothing in return, then donations made through sponsored
activities such as a fun run or sponsored bounce, run or Zumbathon
etc. can be subject to Gift Aid.
Ticket entry to an event: Payments for such
tickets CANNOT be Gift Aid-ed but a voluntary donation, on top of
the minimum ticket price, can. For example, you may charge £8 for
your curry and quiz night, with a £2 voluntary donation. You can
claim Gift Aid on the £2 if your supporter is a UK taxpayer.
Do we qualify?
You'll need to apply to HMRC for confirmation that your
organisation is entitled to claim UK charity tax reliefs. This is a
fairly straightforward process, and you don't have to be a
registered charity, but you must be defined as a charity by law.
Once approval has been given you will receive a reference number
and confirmation of the date the entitlement to claim Gift Aid
begins. If your organisation is based in England or Wales and
currently has an income in excess of £5,000 per annum, then you
will also need to register with the Charity Commission for England
and Wales. Click here for more information on charity
registration. If you are based in Scotland, you need to apply to
the Office of the
Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). Charities in Northern
Ireland, should check with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.
How do we get started?
Firstly you'll need to ask eligible supporters to confirm that
they are UK taxpayers. The next step is to have them complete and
sign a Gift Aid declaration form, which you should then keep on
file. This form needs to include the donor's full name and address
and the name of your organisation. Make this explicit to donors by
explaining that you can't receive Gift Aid without this
information. You only need to ask your supporters to complete one
form as this provides cover for every gift made to the same
charity, for whatever period they choose and can cover gifts they
have already made and/or gifts they may make in the future. More
information and a sample declaration form is available from hmrc.gov.uk.
How do I claim Gift Aid?
In April 2013 a new 'Charities Online' service came into effect.
This allows charitable organisationst to register to make Gift Aid
repayment claims online, reducing administrative burdens, saving
postal costs and speeding up the process. Click here to learn how
to sign up and use Charities Online.
What is the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme?
The GASDS is designed as a top-up to Gift Aid for those
donations where it is difficult to get a declaration from a donor,
e.g. bucket collections passed around at a fundraising concert.
Charities can claim a payment on donations of £20 or less, for up
to £5,000 a year. Cash donations will need to be paid directly into
the charity's bank account. You will need to be claiming Gift Aid
already to make use of the GASDS and must have at least two years
good claims history. A Gift Aid claim will need to be made in the
year you make a GASDS claim. Complete the same forms as for Gift
Aid, using the Charities Online claiming system - tell HMRC how
much you are claiming and the year donations were collected. That's
it - no need to provide donor information. For full terms, visit hmrc.gov.uk.
The HMRC website had detailed guidance notes on completing
online Gift Aid claims. Click here to be directed to their Gift Aid
The above is intended as guidance only.
Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions
or actions taken by a fundraising organisation, based on the
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