What donations can we claim for? The answer to this question changed in 2015 and changed again from April 2017!
The Church of England position relating to the donations we can claim under the GASDS scheme changed in late 2015
Initially, HMRC considered parishes within a diocese to be "connected" for the purposes of the scheme. This meant that parishes could only claim using the Community Buildings element of the scheme - an allowance of up to £5,000 per building.
HMRC have since agreed that parishes are not connected, so we can claim on the main "Top up" element - an allowance of up to £5000 per parish
. This means that we are not limited to donations collected in the building during services. Initially, we all "shared" this £5000 main element.
There are 2 options:
Single church parishes
claim on the main Top Up element
of the scheme, up to £8000 per parish. You can include small cash donations:
in loose offerings
regular non Gift Aid envelopes
in wall safes
received outside the building eg home communions
donations for, for example, tea/coffee, votive candles, flower festival, anything with a "benefit". See the national Guide to GASDS for parishes with single church (pdf)
for more details.
Multi church parishes
to claim on the Community Buildings element
, up to £8000 for each separate
The only donations which can be included are those which are given in the building, whilst charitable activities (services) are taking place, and only when at least 10 people (beneficiaries) are present.
This means that you will need a record of the amounts received and the number of people present (or that at least 10 people were present) for each service where you want to include the donations received in the GASDS claim.
Donations received at home communions, during the week not in a service, in wall safes, during tea/coffee and for candles are not eligible (other than in very particular circumstances).
For non diocesan scheme parishes: when making the claim for GASDS, only claim using the Community Buildings spreadsheet or section of the ChR1 form. Do not enter an amount for a top up claim for your "organisation", or you will be double claiming!
See the national Guide to GASDS for parishes with multiple churches (pdf)
for more details.
What can we claim from 6 April 2017?
The new changes are essentially:
Changes to the eligibility requirements. This includes removing the requirement where you have to have made a Gift Aid claim in at least 2 of the last 4 tax years. This has effected some churches who don’t make regular annual Gift Aid claims.
The Community buildings amount now includes donations made within the Local Authority area of the building, not just in the building.
This means that you can include donations made other than during services.
Contactless payments can be included!
See the checklist on the right to compare what donations you can claim depending on whether you claim on the Top Up or Community Buildings element of the scheme, both before and after 6 April 2017.
The Resources team offer regular briefing sessions on the GASDS scheme. We will post the date of the next session here once it has been arranged.