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  • Writer's pictureThe Charity Knowledge Hub

What is Gift Aid?

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

Most of us that work in the charity sector have heard of Gift Aid and in fact when HMRC did a survey a couple of years ago over 80% of the general public had heard about Gift Aid, but whilst most of us seem to have heard of Gift Aid and know that it is seen as a ‘good’ thing do we really know what it is?

Gift Aid has now been in operation 20 years in its current format and in essence is a tax effective giving scheme ran by HMRC that allows charities and CASC’s to claim the tax paid on donations given to them by UK tax payers. The same HMRC survey stated that when the general public was asked if they understood Gift Aid the percentage who did dropped to under 35% and even then, those people stated their knowledge was only “good”.

Each year on average charities are claiming £1.4 billion overall which is a huge amount but research also shows that there is a further £600 million not claimed each year which means that many charities are simply not maximising Gift Aid or understanding how to run an effective Gift Aid system.

There are many rules and regulations set out by HMRC as to who is eligible to sign up to Gift Aid including that supporters have paid enough tax in that tax year, the donation they have given is voluntary and that they do not receive any excessive benefits in return.

Many of us who work in the charity sector have to wear numerous hats and if you work in finance or fundraising then being given the task of ‘gift aid' is a common scenario. Often managing the Gift Aid scheme or making tax claims falls under the ‘and any other duties' part of your job role and from what we hear, all too often people have to ‘learn on the job’

We believe that no one should be expected to have the responsibility of Gift Aid without having adequate training and fully understanding the HMRC gift aid rules and regulations. But for many of us in the charity sector this can often be the reality with charities expanding beyond their knowledge, experts moving on and leaving the organisation and lack of awareness of what training is available.

If you want to fully understand ‘What is Gift Aid’ then join us for one of our online Gift Aid workshops where we take you through up to 12 modules covering a comprehensive range of Gift Aid using practical examples and the vast experience of our expert, Phil Robson. Delegate questions are encouraged, and we also have options for receiving ongoing support for your organisation.

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