Basics of Gift Aid

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Gift Aid: flexible, simple and incredibly beneficial to churches

Gift Aid allows your givers to increase the value of gifts to their church at no additional cost to themselves. If they are UK taxpayers, you can reclaim from HMRC Charities the basic rate tax paid on their gifts, boosting it by 25%. A gift of £10 from a Gift Aid donor is worth £12.50 to your church. Gift Aid has its advantages and a few requirements as you might expect:
  • Flexible – it can cover one-off gifts or regular donations
  • Simple – it is easy to make a Gift Aid Declaration, and an enduring declaration just keeps going and is simple to cancel at any time if the need arises
  • Easy for the church to operate if you give it the time and attention it needs
  • Suitable for all UK taxpayers - but note that taxpayers must have paid enough tax to cover the Gift Aid claims for all of their charitable giving under Gift Aid, not just what they give to their church
  • Retrospective - claim on eligible gifts already given. The current HMRC time limit for retrospective claims is 4 years from receiving a donation to making a claim.
Subject to a few simple rules, your donors can give any amount of money, large or small, regular or one-off, and the church can reclaim the tax, even, as noted, backdating claims to cover elgible donations in the last four years. All you need from your donor is a simple but correctly worded Declaration saying that they want to use Gift Aid. A declaration can cover one or more donations. The church must keep an "audit trail" for every donation included in any claim.

Pending full guidance soon at Giving in Grace see the advice at the excellent Parish Resources website. The Resources team run regular briefing sessions for those new to Gift Aid, usually in the autumn. The slides from the most recent briefing session are available in the panel on the right and, of course, we are always available on the phone or to visit a parish if help is needed.

To simplify Gift Aid in your church register your parish for the new Parish Giving Scheme which takes away all the burden of Gift Aid claiming at no cost to the individual donor or to the church, or consider joining the long standing Diocesan Gift Aid Scheme