How To Claim HMRC Gift Aid For Charities

We fail to claim £600 million in HMRC Gift Aid for charities annually, it's effectively core funding and you can claim up to 4 years retrospectively. We need that money more than ever, but there are different rules and it can be confusing. This Chaity Excellence resource gives you everything you need to make sure you're maximising yours. I'm Scottish, but not an accountant, so I can see the opportunity, but this resource is not professional advice.

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid, can be claimed by charities on donations from UK tax payers.  You get an additional 25p from HMRC for every £1 donated. Think what you could do with that? 

And there's more.  In a CAF survey in July 2020, four in 10 of those who already donate money to charity, said Government incentives such as top-ups make them more likely to give.

Who Can Claim It?

It can be claimed by registered and unregistered (unincorpoarted associations) charituies and community amatuer sports clubs (CASCs).

But, you have to be registered with HMRC. Not registered? Here's my guide on how to do so and you can make a claim up to 4 years retrospectively. 

If you're based outside of the UK, but have UK donors, it is possible to claim Gift Aid, without registering a UK charity and with HMRC. Find out more here.

Gift Aid Rules

  1. For donations over £30, ask each donor to sign a Gift Aid declaration and keep this on file. There are 2 versions – single donation and multiple donations
  2. Membership subscriptions may also qualify for Gift Aid, as long as any benefits are sufficiently small that the subscription can be considered a donation - more here.
  3. For small donations using collections tins/buckets, you can claim for donations of up to £30 (£20 prior to 6 Apr 19), with less administration, under the Small Donations Scheme. Here’s an explanatory guide and also the more detailed official version.  
  4. If you have joined a fundraising platform, these normally automatically collect and pay Gift Aid and some will accept unregistered charities, but they can’t claim this for you until you are registered. However, they should send you regular donation reports (usually an Excel file in .csv format). All you need to do is to retain these, until your HMRC registration comes through.
  5. If you sell donated goods via a shop, auction or website, you can claim Retail Gift Aid.
  6. You can claim Gift Aid on text donations, but charities often we fail to do so. Here's how to do it.
  7. And volunteer expenses, but only if they make an actual payment, not if they don't claim the expense.

There are specific rules in areas, such as charities involved in running schoolschurch collectionssponsored challenges and events.

Claiming Gift Aid On Donations

Here’s step-by-step guidance to claiming Gift Aid, here's how to submit your claim online and here's a Gift Aid FAQS and common mistakes list to help you.

If you're a registered charity, but aren't yet registered with HMRC, here's my guide on how to do so.

More Advice On Gift Aid

This short guide doesn't cover every eventuality, such as patron/supporter schemes. You can find out more about these here.

And Gift Aid Is Just One Of Many HMRC Charitable Tax Reliefs

Here is a list of the others, with links to the guidance you'll need to claim these. 

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