Gift Aid

Gift Aid is one of the simplest and most effective ways of giving to charity.

Using Gift Aid means that for every £1 you give, the charity you are supporting will receive an extra 25p from HMRC.

I've received a letter or email about Gift Aid

Common questions about Gift Aid

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is a government scheme which is open to all charity supporters who pay UK Income or Capital Gains tax. For every pound you earn you pay 25p (or 20% basic rate of tax). By signing up to Gift Aid, every time you donate your charity can reclaim the tax you have paid based on the value of the donation you have made. So, a £10 donation from you enables charities to reclaim £2.50. Charities are very dependent on Gift Aid.

Back to top

Am I eligible to sign up for Gift Aid?

You're eligible if you're a UK tax payer living anywhere in the world. However, you must have paid enough tax to cover the amount that all the charities you support would claim in Gift Aid in a tax year (6 April – 5 April the following year).

Even if you're not employed, you're still eligible for Gift Aid if you pay tax on any of the following:

  • a personal or occupational pension,
  • bank or building society savings accounts,
  • rental income,
  • stocks and shares,
  • UK and overseas investment dividends.

Other taxes such as VAT and council tax do not apply.

As the tax payer, you're responsible for checking your eligibility for Gift Aid as any tax shortfall is the responsibility of the tax payer, so please speak to your accountant or HMRC if you are unclear on how much tax you have paid.

Back to top

What donations are not eligible for Gift Aid?

Any donation:

  • from a non-UK taxpayer,
  • made on behalf of someone else or a group of people,
  • made on behalf of a company,
  • to a family member participating in an event where the charity is contributing to their costs and this breaks the HMRC benefits rules,
  • made in return for goods, rights or services.

Back to top

How much tax do I need to pay to be eligible for Gift Aid?

In one financial year you must have paid at least 25p in income or capital gains tax for every £1 you donate to charity. Every Income Tax payer has a tax-exempt threshold before they start paying tax. So for every £10 you donate, we will claim £2.50 from HMRC, so please ensure you are paying enough tax to Gift Aid your donations.

Back to top

How do I sign up for Gift Aid?

Tick the box on the donation form, or call us on 020 8780 7500 (available 9am-5pm).

Back to top

Will I have to make a Gift Aid declaration again?

No, once you sign up to Gift Aid your declaration will be ongoing and will cover any future donations you may make. Please notify us if your circumstances change and you no longer pay enough tax to cover your donations. We can also claim Gift Aid on any donations you may have made to us in the previous four years if you were paying tax in that time, just tick and date the Gift Aid Declaration.

Back to top

What if I donate to several charities and want to Gift Aid to all of them?

You can do this by signing a declaration for each charity. As long as each tax year you will have paid at least the equivalent amount of tax that all the charities combined will be claiming, Gift Aid can be applied. It's your responsibility to repay any difference.

Back to top

How do I know if I pay UK income or capital gains tax?

If any of the following applies to you:

  • income tax is deducted from your salary before you receive it,
  • you pay tax after submitting a self-assessment form each year,
  • you have a taxable pension plan, savings (eg with a building society) or investment income,
  • you have paid capital gains tax (eg on the sale of a property or share).

If you're unsure of your eligibility for Gift Aid, please contact HMRC.

Back to top

What should I do if my tax status changes, or if I need or want to cancel my declaration?

Please contact us by emailing enquiry@vsoint.org, or writing to us at 100 London Road, Kingston-Upon-Thames, KT2 6QJ, United Kingdom.

Back to top

How would Gift Aid affect my tax?

Signing up to Gift Aid doesn’t affect the tax you pay. We make the claim to HMRC on the tax you have already paid on your donations.

Back to top

What if I'm a higher rate tax payer?

As a higher rate tax payer, when you donate we will claim against your donation at the basic rate of tax (currently 20%).  However, the good news is you can claim the difference between the rate you pay and basic rate on your donation. It’s the same if you live in Scotland.

All you need to do is complete the charitable giving section on your self-assessment tax form.

For example:

You donate £100 to charity – the charity claims Gift Aid to make your donation £125. You pay 40% tax, so you can personally claim back £25.00 (£125 x 20%).

If you don’t have to send a tax return, contact HMRC and ask for a P810 form. You’ll need to submit it by 31 January after the end of the previous tax year.

Back to top

What if I don't pay UK tax?

Unfortunately, the scheme is only open to UK tax payers, so you're not eligible for Gift Aid. It's still worth letting us know so that we don’t ask you for this information again.

Back to top

I don’t pay tax but my husband/wife does. Can I Gift Aid through them?

If you're able to donate using a joint bank account and your spouse is willing to sign a Gift Aid Declaration, your donations would be eligible for Gift Aid. Please contact us so that we can make a note of this information.

Back to top

Who will be able to access my Gift Aid information with VSO?

Only HMRC and VSO. We do not share your information with anyone else, not even other family members, without your permission. All information is held in accordance with our data protection and privacy policy.

Back to top

Can Gift Aid be applied to event sponsorship?

Sponsorship Gift Aid varies from event to event and the person you are sponsoring is responsible for establishing if donations made by people who are directly connected to the participant will qualify for Gift Aid. Each sponsor must provide their full name, home address and postcode to enable us to reclaim the tax.

We cannot accept joint sponsored donations. So, if you usually donate as a couple and are both tax payers, please make sure you enter your own name and address details on separate lines.

Back to top

If you have received a letter or email about Gift Aid

Thank you for the support you have given towards our life-changing work across the world.

According to our records, you have previously signed a Gift Aid form for VSO; we are now checking the details at the time of signing were correct.

What do I need to do now?

If you are happy with the details email or letter we have sent you, you don’t need to contact us.

If, however, any details in the email or letter are incorrect, then please let us know via email at enquiry@vsoint.org.

I am no longer a UK taxpayer

That's fine - we are aware that circumstances change over the years. Please email us at enquiry@vsoint.org to let us know your change in circumstances. Please include your full name and either your supporter number (included in the email or letter) or postcode, so we can identify you on our system. Please also include confirmation that you were a UK taxpayer on the date shown in your emai or letter in your response.

You have sent this to my partner, who has now died

Please accept our sincere condolences and apologies for any upset caused. Please email enquiry@vsoint.org so that we can update our records, including your partner's full name and postcode. If you would like to continue to hear from VSO, please also let us know, and if you want to Gift Aid your donations we will need to send you a new form

My partner is the taxpayer

It is really important to let us know who is the UK taxpayer, as they must also be the donor or share the donation with you in order for us to be able to claim back tax. Please email us at enquiry@vsoint.org to let us know this so we can amend our records.

I want to stop giving Gift Aid

Please email enquiry@vsoint.org if you wish to close your Gift Aid Declaration. In order to close this declaration, please let us know your full name and either your supporter number (check your letter, your supporter number is at the top of the page) or postcode so we can identify you on our system. Please also include confirmation that you were a taxpayer on the date shown in your email/letter in your response.

Thank you for previously giving Gift Aid - we appreciate that circumstances change and if you find yourself able to give Gift Aid again in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us.

I have moved from the address on your files

That's fine - we can update your address on our records. If you could confirm that the address shown in the email/letter was a previous residence and that you were a taxpayer on the dates shown in the email that would be most appreciated. Please email enquiry@vsoint.org, providing your full name and either your supporter number or previous postcode so we can identify you on our system, along with your new address.

The email said I only had 30 days to respond, but it's now been longer than that

That’s no problem. HMRC set the time limit, but of course we can amend your Gift Aid status at any time. Are you happy to confirm the details in the email/letter are accurate? If so, then you don't need to take any action. If not, please let us know via email at enquiry@vsoint.org.

How do I contact you regarding the email?

You can email us at enquiry@vsoint.org or call us on 020 8780 7500. Please note that, in line with official guidance on COVID-19, we are currently running at much reduced capacity within the office.

Back to top