With Gift Aid, for every pound given, the local church gets an extra 25p from HM Revenue & Customs which means donations go further – at no extra cost to the giver! All the giver needs to do is use a Gift Aid envelope or sign a simple declaration which you can download below.
Our Gift Aid Guide
Our Gift Aid Guide, available to download at the bottom of the page, has step-by-step instructions for running Gift Aid in your parish, written with advice from experienced treasurers. It has useful information for newcomers to Gift Aid, plus tips for old hands:
- Worked examples showing how to keep your Gift Aid records
- Guidance on how to claim using the HM Revenue & Customs online claim form
- How to run the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS)
- Frequently asked questions, practical tips and sample letters to parishioners
- Examples of ‘borderline cases’ from a fictional parish
- Links to further help on the web.
Gift Aid Declarations
Regular givers should be invited to sign a Gift Aid Declaration form so that you can reclaim the tax they have paid without any further work on the donor’s part. The required wording can be found in our Gift Aid Guide, downloadable from the bottom of this webpage.
Churches and charities are encouraged to include full forenames on Gift Aid Declarations, as HMRC is looking to see an improvement in the number of claims which include full forenames to help with eligibility checks.
Those undertaking sponsored events can download a sponsorship form template below, which includes a Gift Aid column for donors to simply tick.
Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS)
This scheme enables churches and charities to claim a top-up payment similar to Gift Aid on up to £8,000 a year of cash and Contactless (from 6 April 2017) donations up to and including £30 (£20 prior to 6 April 2019), without the need for Gift Aid Declarations, although your church must also run a Gift Aid scheme in order to claim GASDS. Note that Chip and PIN transactions of any amount are not eligible under the GASDS. HMRC no longer considers churches to be connected within a diocese. This has simplified the record keeping and claims process for some churches – see our downloadable Gift Aid Guide (below) or visit the Church’s national GASDS guidance web page. Retrospective claims can be made back as far as 2 years from the end of the tax year in which the donation was made.
2020 update: HMRC has confirmed that, where churches normally make use of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) in relation to small gifts given in weekly envelopes, it is happy to accept Gift Aid claims for separate weekly envelopes containing £30 or less given when Church buildings re-open or multiple gifts given in one envelope with a declaration stating how much was donated each week and the relevant dates.
Gift Aid claims process
HMRC has introduced an online claims process requiring charities to provide information in a set way. Make sure you keep your records in the right way for easier claiming and that you are set up to make claims.
The HMRC website has a Charities Online Demonstrator, with actual screen shots you will encounter online, to help you avoid problems and answer many of the questions associated with claiming Gift Aid, Small Donations and other charity reliefs online.
Magazine article to encourage Gift Aided donations
Want to encourage Gift Aid take-up in your church? We have written an article, which you can download below, which may help.
We need envelopes . . !
What about occasional worshippers and visitors? They too can use Gift Aid to increase the value of their donation. The most common way to do this is by one-off Gift Aid envelopes. Every parish should have a supply!
Gift Aid envelopes help people make tax-efficient gifts to your church. If you only need a small number (under 1,000), we can supply you at £5.00 per 100. All you need to do is add the name of your PCC to each envelope and put them out in church. Please send your cheque (payable to ‘Bath & Wells DBF’) to: Mrs Sue Whitehead, Diocesan Office, Flourish House, Cathedral Park, WELLS, BA5 1FD, or email Sue your order and we will send you our bank details with the invoice and envelopes for online payment.
For larger quantities, it’s cheaper to buy from commercial suppliers. They can also print a picture or church logo on your envelopes for you.
Get the Gift Aid logo
The ‘Gift Aid it’ logo provides a positive, friendly and simple way of drawing attention to Gift Aid on your church’s publicity. You can use the logo without any charge. Download either of the logos below to save or copy it to paste it in to your own documents.
Gift days and eBay sales
Many parishes hold Gift Days as part of an appeal. Have you considered asking for goods as well as cash? There are people who may be unable to be as financially generous as they would wish but have ‘things’ that they could give. You could sell these locally (e.g. at a church auction) but there may be a limited market. An account with PayPal Giving Fund allows you to sell goods via eBay at a significantly reduced charge. It is possible for others to sell goods on your behalf, often done when people are moving house. Something sells for charity every 2 minutes on eBay and over £11,000 per day is raised. Donated goods can be Gift Aided. To explore this further, please contact Sue Whitehead.
Please do not overlook the local route of sale as well – local auctioneers may have a specialist sale for specific items and be able to obtain excellent prices in their general sales. They will be aware of specialist auctioneers for the truly specialist goods and will be able to point you in the right direction. PCCs need to maximise income for the church but also need to ensure that we are supporting the local economy.
More Gift Aid help
We will happily give advice on ways of increasing Gift Aid take-up, or put you in touch with others who have made it work for them.
You can also get authoritative information direct from the HM Revenue and Customs Gift Aid website which also allows you to download the relevant documents. Or you can phone The Charities Department which administers the scheme on 0845 302 0203.