Whilst certainly not a new idea, there are still a lot of people out there who don’t understand the concept of Gift Aid and the real benefits that it has for charities.
Gift Aid allows UK charities to claim back the basic rate tax already paid on donations by the donor. This means we can claim back from the government on your behalf 25p for every £1 donated, boosting the value of the donation by a quarter. Ticking the box incurs no additional costs to the donor yet the charity gets more funds so it really is a win-win situation all around.
Your donation can take the form of a standard monetary donation or even sponsorship for a charity event.
Research undertaken by HMRC has found that around a third of eligible donations made to UK charities do not have gift aid added when they could have done. This means that in total, charities are missing out on an astounding £600 million per year, all for the sake of filling out a few basic details.
There are of course some rules to follow when it comes to Gift Aid:
- You must have paid at least as much in Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax in the tax year in which the Gift Aid will be claimed.
- You must also make a Gift Aid declaration that will give the charity permission to claim it. This declaration must give your full name and home address (including your postcode) and the money must be coming from your own personal account (not a business account).
- Once you have become a Gift Aid donor, please let the charity know if you stop paying tax or if you change your name or address so that they can update their records.
Once you have provided a Gift Aid declaration it will cover all of the eligible donations you have given up until four years previously and on any donation that you may make in the future, so only one declaration is required.
It really is a simple process.
So the next time you are requested to complete a declaration when you donate or buy from a charity, please do take time to fill in the form. You can make more of a difference than you will ever know.
(Written by Christina Jones, Fundraiser at Strode Park Foundation)