Gift Aid is a Government scheme which allows charities to reclaim the basic rate of tax paid by donors on donations. This can be applied to any amount of money, large or small, regular or one-off, providing the donor pays sufficient tax, and that a Gift Aid declaration is received. The Gift Aid declaration will usually either cover enduring (ongoing) donations, eg by Standing Order or numbered weekly/monthly envelopes (and it can be backdated to cover all donations received in the last 4 years), or it will cover a one-off donation, when the declaration is usually printed on to the envelope in which the donation is received. Gift Aid envelopes for one-off donations are available from Sue Whitehead at the Diocesan Office.
Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS)
This scheme enables churches and charities to claim a top-up payment similar to Gift Aid on cash donations up to and including £20 (£30 from 6 April 2019), up to a limit of £8,000 per church/community building, without the need for Gift Aid declarations.
Details of how to run both Gift Aid and the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme may be found on our Gift Aid page, including a downloadable Guide and links to national church guidance.
Full forenames on Gift Aid claims – next steps
Members will recall that, following discussions with CTG, HMRC had agreed that while charities should be strongly encouraged to provide full forenames (rather than just an initial) on Gift Aid claims wherever that is practical and possible to do so, this will not be mandatory, have a fixed start date (which had been mooted as April 2019) or apply retrospectively. This agreement (full details here) was contingent on HMRC being able to see a gradual improvement in the number of claims including full forenames.
Speaking to a meeting of charity shop representatives yesterday in Birmingham, CTG proposed the following next steps, which will be relevant to all charities claiming Gift Aid.
- Check what percentage of your Gift Aid records include a full forename
- If you hold a full forenames for donors include them in your Gift Aid claim
- Try to collect full forenames in future where practical and possible to do so – inform staff, volunteers and software providers about this
- Document any actions undertaken to improve collection of first name information
- Provide feedback to CTG on any difficulties experienced or negative responses received from donors