Tax reclaim of 28% for cash donations

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Small Biz MoneySaving
4 replies 602 views
goldthornwolfgoldthornwolf Forumite
109 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Small Biz MoneySaving
Please can anyone advise more on this topic - i will be responsible for carrying out this task in the near future. Any advice will be much appreciated

We are an established registered charity and will be looking to reclaim for the last 6 years


  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    43.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Gift Aid - you need the HMRC site.

    If you put Gift Aid into their search box lots of pages will come up: you could do worse than start with I want to ... submit a Gift Aid Claim but if you're a complete novice then this overview might be better.

    Filling out the claim forms always seemed to me like a 'wet towel round the head and a cup of strong coffee' kind of job, but once you get the hang of it it's not as bad as you think it's going to be, IYSWIM.

    You do need to keep meticulous records, however. It's not strictly necessary for all Gift Aid declarations to be in writing, for example, BUT if you accept them over the phone you have to keep a recording of the conversation, OR write to confirm that the person made a verbal declaration, so TBH it's as easy to devise a form! That's where the Gift Aid Toolkit comes in REALLY handy! Oh, and if you spot any sizeable donations which don't seem to have a GA declaration yet, they can be backdated! Six years, I believe, which is why we all had to change our forms last year because it was six years or to 6 April 2000 whichever was the earlier ...

    The really good news is that HMRC will pay interest if your claim is over a certain age, so you're not disadvantaged by claiming for several years. In fact our treasurer takes advantage of this because she reckons the taxman pays more interest than the bank does!

    Hope that helps, come back if it doesn't ...
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  • thanks for your help savvy sue - anyone able to offer anymore advice?
  • oldtoolieoldtoolie Forumite
    750 Posts
    It sounds like you are starting from scratch and do not have Gift Aid declarations from your donors. You will need to collect those declarations from your donors in order to claim Gift Aid.

    You can find some more information about Gift Aid at

    Go to ...for charities... giftaid ... and download the Gift Aid Tool kit pdf manual.

    Here's how I did it a while back. If your donor and donation information is on a database, then you won't have any problems drawing up a list of donors to contact. It is more complicated if you must go through paper records. Always look for the most simple way to produce the information required and the forms to send to HMRC.

    Don't worry about having all of the records perfectly filed and ready for an audit by the HMRC. However, you must have all of the records available so that you could sort them out for an audit (unlikely).

    You will want a list of all of your donors with the total amount of their donations during the period for which you are going to claim. Sort the list with the biggest donors first and start contacting them.

    Phoning them is best because you get the answer right away. Write a script with talking points to make sure you cover everything. Be sure you thank them at least twice for their support. If they say yes, post a letter thanking them and confirming that they have declared that their donations are eligible for Gift Aid.

    If you can't find their telephone number, write to them and enclose a cover letter, stamped addressed envelope, and a reply card for them to sign. The stamps might cost more but will dramatically increase your return. Or use Freepost if you have it.

    Add the yeses to a list with their name, address and amount. At the end of the month file a GiftAid claim. I don't think the HMRC is bothered by the exact format of your claim form as long as all requirements are covered. The HMRC help line is ... helpful ... so call if you have questions.

    Plan this campaign methodically to gain maximum return for your charity's time and money. You might reach a point of diminishing return and decide that people who have given less than say £10 aren't worth the effort.

    Look at this as a chance to thank your donors again and remind them about your charity. That is sure to yield more support in the future.

    Be sure to add the Gift Aid option in any future appeals.

    Good Luck

    Larry Boyd
    Tools for Self Reliance

    Thanks to MSE for making Tools for Self Reliance one of your charities of the year
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    43.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    The only suggestion I'd add to oldtoolie's most comprehensive directions for getting your Gift Aid declarations in order is one to consider if you don't yet have many people giving regularly by standing order. And that is to devise a Standing Order form with your bank details on it and send that out with the Gift Aid form. Refer in your covering letter to how helpful it is to have regular giving so you can plan your work etc.

    The only slight caveat with that is that the Charity Commission has suggested that charities should consider setting up a separate 'income only' bank account. It's not essential to do so, but if your bank details fall into the hands of fraudsters then making it impossible for them to clean out your bank account is obviously a good idea ...

    Now, sending your bank details to your existing supporters is probably safe enough - we have to hope so anyway! But it would not be sensible to post them on a website inviting donations unless sensible measures were in place to protect your assets.
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