Manage Church Funds fit and proper
Charity law requires that charities, including churches, which reclaim Gift Aid need to demonstrate that trustees (which for churches means PCC members) and any staff or volunteers, who 'manage' church funds, pass a 'fit and proper persons' test.
What is the test for?
The purpose of the fit and proper persons test is to ensure that charity or church funds, including Gift Aid repayments, are used only for the church’s charitable purposes. Failure to comply will mean, amongst other things, that Gift Aid may not be repaid to the church.
PCCs must be ready and able to demonstrate if asked, that they have taken reasonable steps to ensure that their trustees are fit and proper persons.
What you need to do
Compliance is simple - you can find useful resources on this page.
Start by downloading our simple guide to Fit and Proper Persons test. This will tell you what you need to do now, and what you'll need to do in future.
Please note that the Gift Aid Secretary, who is usually the person nominated to HMRC as the Authorised Official, must also read the HMRC detailed guidance on Fit and Proper Persons, and sign the relevant Fit and Proper Persons declaration.
Charities Change of Details Form (ChV1)
You will need to complete a Charities Change of Details Form form to notify HMRC of significant changes relating to yur organisation.
Click here for the form and guidance on how to complete it.
You will need to use this ChV1 form to notify HMRC of:
- Any new or additional Authorised signatory e.g. your Gift Aid secretary;
- Your bank account details, if you currently receive your repayment by cheque, or if you change your bank account details;
- Changes to 'responsible' persons;
- Any other changes to the information which HMRC holds about your parish.
The first time you use the ChV1 you will need to notify HMRC of the names of between two and four 'responsible' persons, two of which will need to sign the ChV1.
If you need to change the Authorised Official, the two people who sign off the form need to declare that any new Authorised Official has read the Fit and Proper person guidance.
PLEASE NOTE: HMRC advises to send a ChV1 form at least a month before you make any Gift Aid claim to allow time for your changes to be processed.
The documents below will help you ensure all PCC members meet the Fit & Proper Persons test:
- PCC Nomination form, including required Fit and Proper Person wording;
- HMRC Helpsheet and Declaration - shorter guidance on the Fit and Proper Persons Declaration;
- HMRC detailed guidance - Essential reading for your authorised signatory (Gift Aid secretary) and those who sign the ChV1 Charities Authorisation form;
- Church of England Gift Aid guide on Fit and Proper Persons and the Fit and Proper Persons Declaration.
If you have any queries about the Fit and Proper person test please contact our Resources Team on 0151 705 2180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.