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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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