Gift Aid FAQ

If every charity supporter was to give their donations tax-effectively, charities could claim an estimated additional £900 million from the HM Revenue & Customs each year.

Providing you are a UK taxpayer, you could boost your charitable donations just by giving in a tax-efficient way. We appreciate that tax has its complexities and can be difficult to understand. If you are unsure about anything, please don't hesitate to call us on 01896 870455.

1. What is Gift Aid?

2. Do I qualify for Gift Aid?

3. Do I need to make a separate Gift Aid declaration for each tax year?

4. What if I pay a higher rate of tax?

5. What if I stop paying tax? Can I withdraw the declaration?

6. Can anyone gift aid their donations?

7. I am a pensioner, do my donations qualify?

8. Is there any extra paperwork for me to complete?

9. Does my declaration cover all donations I have ever made to you?

10. Do I need to declare anything in my tax return in relation to gifts I have already given?

11. I pay tax at a higher rate, can the charity claim back the full amount?

12. Can I call you if I have any other questions?

 

1. What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is one of the simplest and most effective ways of giving to charity. It is a scheme introduced by HM Revenue & Customs, which allows us to reclaim the basic rate tax you pay as a UK taxpayer.

It means that for every £1 you donate we get an extra 25p, at no extra cost to you. All that is required from you is a one-off declaration, which you can give by simply ticking a box on a form or by agreeing over the phone, and we'll do the rest.

Please remember to let us know of any changes to your name and address. You can contact us at any time by emailing giftaid@homebasics.org.uk or by calling 01896 870455.

2. Do I qualify for Gift Aid?

Gift Aid can apply to donations of any amount made by an individual, large or small - it all adds up! You can Gift Aid your cash, cheque, postal order, direct debit, standing order and bankcard donations.

To be eligible for the Gift Aid scheme, you need to be a UK taxpayer. You need to have paid income tax or capital gains tax that is at least equal to the amount that we will be reclaiming, in the year that your gift is received by us. Other taxes such as Council Tax and VAT do not for Gift Aid purposes.

Tax is claimed at the basic rate of tax, which is 20% before tax (25% on the net donation). This means that under Gift Aid for every £1 you give, Home Basics can reclaim at least an additional 25p from HM Revenue & Customs.

On 5th April 2008, the PAYE income tax rate reduced from 22% on gross (28% on net). To make up for the shortfall on gift aid, the government provided an extra 3% top up on donations between 6th April 2008 and 5th April 2011 to allow charities to continue to benefit from 28p return for every £1. This extra 3% was removed from 6th April 2011, and the British Red Cross has up to two years to claim at the 28% for any donations received before this change.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for donating by Gift Aid, or simply want more information, contact the HM Revenue & Customs directly by calling their Gift Aid helpline on 0151 472 6038 or visiting http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/

3. Do I need to make a separate Gift Aid declaration for each tax year?

No, you only need to make a declaration once. Your single declaration will apply to any donations you might make to us in the future.

Please do, however, remember to let us know of any changes to your name and address. You can contact us at any time by emailing giftaid@homebasics.org.uk or by calling 01896 870455.

4. What if I pay a higher rate of tax?

If you are a higher rate taxpayer we are still only able to claim the basic rate of tax on your donation. However, you are able to reclaim the difference between the amount we reclaim and the 40% you pay yourself through your tax return, or you may choose to donate it back to Home Basics by completing the information on your self assessment form. All you have to do is remember to include details of your charitable gifts on your tax form.

5. What if I stop paying tax? Can I withdraw the declaration?

You can cancel the declaration at any time by emailing your full name and address, including your postcode, to giftaid@homebasics.org.uk or by telephoning us on 01896 870455.

Find out more about Gift Aid on the Charity Facts website.

6. Can anyone gift aid their donations?

Anyone can give us permission to claim back the tax paid on their gifts, as long as they are a UK Tax payer and have paid as much tax as we will claim on donations made in the tax year in which they were received. This tax can be from income tax taken from your pay or from income / capital gains tax paid on a private pension or on savings interest.

7. I am a pensioner, do my donations qualify?

Income from state pensions is unlikely to qualify as you would need to earn above the personal allowance threshold to pay income tax. If this is your only source of income, we would always advise that you check with your tax office before completing a declaration.

8. Is there any extra paperwork for me to complete?

No. We reclaim the tax directly from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Simply tick the box on the form to confirm you are a UK taxpayer. That’s all you need to do – although you may wish to keep a record of donations you have made in case you are eligible for further tax relief yourself or to ensure that you are paying enough tax to cover the donations you make to charities under Gift Aid.

9. Does my declaration cover all donations I have ever made to you?

We only have four years in which to claim the tax relief on your donations, so if donations you have made go back further than 4 years, we will only apply the tax relief to donations within the allowed period as set out by HMRC.

10. Do I need to declare anything in my tax return in relation to gifts I have already given?

No. You only need declare gifts made in the current tax year, as although the charity can claim back the tax on donations received up to four years ago, you can only benefit from tax relief on donations made in the current period. Please speak to your tax office if in any doubt as to your entitlement.

11. I pay tax at a higher rate, can the charity claim back the full amount?

We can only claim back tax at the basic rate (currently 20% of the gross value of your donation). However, you can request a rebate for the difference on any donations made within the current tax year, when you submit your tax returns and opt to donate this to a charity of your choice.

12. Can I call you if I have any other questions?

If you have any further questions about Gift Aid – or if your circumstances change and you need to cancel the agreement – please call us on 01896 870455.