How to Claim Gift Aid as a Charity

There are certain conditions to meet before claiming Gift Aid as a charity or as a community amateur sports club (CASC). This guide explains what Gift Aid is and how to claim this type of tax incentive in United Kingdom.

Further topics provide information on what kind of donations qualify for Gift Aid, how to get Gift Aid declarations from donors, and how to claim tax repayments using Charities Online.

What the Donor and Receiver Need to Do

To qualify for claiming Gift Aid as a charity, the donor must have:

  • Paid at least the same amount in Income Tax or in Capital Gains Tax during the tax year you want to claim it.
  • Provided a Gift Aid declaration giving you permission to claim this type of tax incentive.

Cash donations of no more than £20 may still qualify for Gift Aid (e.g. a collection) even if the if the donor does not make a declaration.

What is Gift Aid in UK? It is being able to claim back 25 pence for each £1 donated to your charity or community amateur sports club (CASC) by an individual.

You would need to:

Donations You Can Claim Gift Aid On

The special rules for claiming Gift Aid apply to:

  • Charity membership fees
  • Charity auctions, events, or those conducted to view charity property
  • Church collections
  • Funds received from sponsored challenges (e.g. marathons or treks carried out overseas) or through charities involved in running schools
  • Selling goods on behalf of individuals (e.g. from a charity shop)
  • Volunteer expenses donated back to the charity or the CASC

You would not be able to claim Gift Aid on certain types of donations, including:

  • Any given by limited companies or made through a Payroll Giving scheme
  • Any that started out as a loan but no longer need repaying
  • Charity cards or vouchers (e.g. Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) vouchers)
  • Membership fees to a community amateur sports club (CASC)
  • Those given as shares (or where the donor gets a ‘benefit value’ over a specified limit)
  • Those received before becoming a recognised charity or CASC
  • Payments for goods or services (or made because the charity or CASC bought goods and services)

Note: HM Revenue and Customs provide a list of the types of fundraising donations that charities and community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) can claim Gift Aid on and the exceptions.

Gift Aid Declarations from Donors

Donors would need to supply a Gift Aid declaration to the beneficiary of their donation so that the charity or CASC can claim back the Gift Aid tax incentive. The declaration should state that:

  • The donor agrees to the claiming of Gift Aid by the charity or the community amateur sports club.
  • The donor paid at least the same amount of Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax in that particular tax year.

Note: Charities and CASCs need to keep records of Gift Aid declarations for at least six (6) years after claiming tax back through the Gift Aid scheme in the United Kingdom.

Gift Aid Declaration Forms

Besides providing a clear description of the actual gift (donation), the information on a Gift Aid declaration form should also include:

  • The name of the charity or the community amateur sports club (CASC)
  • The name of the donor (i.e. first name and surname)
  • The home address of the donor (i.e. house number or name and the postcode)

Examples of Declaration Templates

HM Revenue and Customs provide example Gift Aid declaration forms that you can download and use them for:

Claiming on Cash Donations

Gift Aid rules allow you to put a declaration on collection envelopes issued by the charity. Even so, in some cases you can still claim on cash donations up to £20 if there is no declaration.

Small Donations Scheme

As a general rule, you should be able to claim a tax incentive of 25% on:

  • Cash donations that are not more than £20.
  • Contactless card donations up to £20 (collected since the 6th of April 2017).

The process is the Gift Aid small donations scheme (also called GASDS for short). The main difference with the GASDS is the ability to make a claim even without a Gift Aid declaration.

Note: You can claim up to £2,000 in a tax year from the 6th of April 2016 (or up to £1,250 for earlier years).

Eligibility Criteria to Make a Claim

To qualify, the charity or the community amateur sports club (CASC) must have claimed Gift Aid:

  • In the same tax year that is claiming GASDS.
  • Without receiving a penalty within the previous two (2) tax years.
  • In at least two (2) of the last four (4) tax years (without a 2-year gap between claims) if claiming on donations made before the 6th of April 2017.

A GASDS claim cannot be more than ten (10) times a claim for Gift Aid. So, you could claim on £1,000 worth of donations through GASDS after receiving £100 of Gift Aid donations in the same tax year, for example.

Note: You would be able to claim on donations eligible for Gift Aid (excluding membership fees).

Collections Made in Community Buildings

The regulations change if the charity has a community building (e.g. a religious building or a village hall). In this case, you may be able to claim more on donations collected (either):

  • In the community building.
  • In the same council area as the community building (if collected on or after the 6th of April 2017).

Note: You must have hosted at least six (6) charity events at the location for it to count as a community building. At least ten (10) people must have attended all the events.

Organisations Connected to Another Charity or CASC

In this case, providing one of the charities has a community building, all the connected charities can (either):

  • Make a claim using the same process as they would with a community building.
  • Share a single limit of £8,000 (all charities would need to write to HMRC quoting the reference number).

Charities, Savings and International 2
HM Revenue and Customs
United Kingdom

The connected charities would need to share a single £8,000 limit if:

  • None of the charities have a community building.
  • The claim is for donations made before the 6th of April 2017.

Note: The rules about merging with another charity or CASC changed from the 6th of April 2017. Check to see if you can take on the record of good claims of the other charity.

Record Keeping Responsibilities

Among the standard things you need to keep records of, are:

  • Total cash donations collected.
  • Date of the collection and the date it was paid into a bank account.

Note: You must also keep records of any contactless card donations taken (e.g. receipts from a card machine).

Taking collections in community buildings means you would also need to record:

  • A description of what kind of event took place.
  • The address and postcode of the place you collected the donations.
  • The number of events held and an estimate of how many people attended the event.
  • When the donations collected.

Note: You should make a claim under Gift Aid small donations scheme (GASDS) in the same way that you would for Gift Aid.

How to Claim Gift Aid Online

Charities and community amateur sports clubs can use Charities Online to claim Gift Aid online, with:

Note: You must use electronic software for claims of more than 1,000 donations. You can get form ChR1 from the HMRC charities helpline if you prefer to apply by postal methods.

Deadline to Claim Gift Aid

As a rule, the deadlines for claiming Gift Aid depend on the actual setup of the charity. You would need to claim for a donation within four (4) years of the end of the same financial period that you received it.

This will be:

  • The standard tax year (6th of April to 5th of April) for a trust.
  • The accounting period for charities that are:
    • A community amateur sports club (CASC).
    • A Charity Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
    • A limited company.

Note: Claim on cash donations under GASDS within two (2) years of the end of the tax year when you collected the donations. Keep accurate records of these types of donations for a further two (2) years.

Gift Aid Payments by BACS

After you claim Gift Aid as a charity or community amateur sports club (CASC) you will receive the payment by BACS:

  • Within four (4) weeks when claimed online
  • Within five (5) weeks when claimed by postal methods (using form ChR1)

Note: You should contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) charities helpline if a repayment is incorrect or you submitted a claim in error.

Claiming Gift Aid as a Charity or a CASC in United Kingdom