Gift Aid is a simple way for your charity or Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) to increase the value of gifts of money you receive from UK taxpayers.
This toolkit is the easiest way for you to start claiming Gift Aid from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) - all you need is a computer. This toolkit has everything else you need to:
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Before you apply to be recognised for Gift Aid, you need to consider whether your charity should be registered with a charity regulator. If you are not sure whether you need to register you should contact the relevant regulator to find out.
The charity regulator for England and Wales is the Charity Commission. If your charity is established in England or Wales and your annual income is more than £5,000, you must register with the Commission before you can apply for Gift Aid (unless you are an exempt body).
If your charity is established in Scotland, you need to apply to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), if you are required to register, before applying to be recognised for Gift Aid.
If your charity is in Northern Ireland, England or Wales (but you do not have to register with the Charity Commission) all you need to do is write to HMRC Charities.
CASCs must be registered with HMRC Charities. If you want to register a CASC, please see 'help sheet 7 - Community Amateur Sports Clubs' below.
Once you have either registered with a charity regulator (or decided that you don't need to do so) you can apply to HMRC to be recognised. To do that you need to complete the HMRC Charities Application Form (ChA1) for charities or the CASC Registration Form (CASC(A1)) and send it to HMRC along with the relevant attachments. If your charity or CASC has already been accepted by HMRC for Gift Aid, you don't need to apply again.
HMRC will check your application to see if you are entitled to claim tax repayments on Gift Aid and other income. If you are, HMRC will send you a unique reference number and a Customer Account Reference number so you can start claiming Gift Aid repayments.
Please note that there is a different application procedure for CASCs.
There are 12 helpsheets below which explain the basics and answer some frequently asked questions about Gift Aid. They also link to the HMRC website for further information.
Look out for the Toolkit tips on the helpsheets. They highlight tips that you can use to make tasks easier during the claim process.
Helpsheet 1: What is Gift Aid? (PDF 324K)
Helpsheet 2: What is a Gift Aid declaration? (PDF 169K)
Helpsheet 3: What can I claim Gift Aid on? (PDF 204K)
Helpsheet 4: What is a benefit for Gift Aid purposes? (PDF 206K)
Helpsheet 5: Do I need to keep records of Gift Aid donations? (PDF 222K)
Helpsheet 6: Is my charity a trust or a company? (PDF 289K)
Helpsheet 7: Community Amateur Sports Clubs (PDF 236K)
Helpsheet 8: How do I run a sponsored event and claim Gift Aid? (PDF 198K)
Helpsheet 9: How do I claim Gift Aid and how often can I claim? (PDF 184K)
Helpsheet 10: How should I list donations on the schedule? (PDF 194K)
Helpsheet 11: What are the time limits for claiming Gift Aid? (PDF 168K)
Helpsheet 12: What happens if my charity is selected for a Gift Aid audit? (PDF 200K)
You can claim tax repayments online using the Charities Online Service, or by using your own or third party software. There's also a paper form for those who don't have access to the internet. Find out more about the options for making claims in Helpsheet 9.
Use the Gift Aid declaration form to make a Gift Aid donation to a charity or CASC or use the form if you’re a charity or CASC to give to your supporters.
Use the Sponsorship and Gift Aid declaration form to make a Gift Aid donation to a charity or CASC from a sponsored event, or use the form if you're a charity or CASC to give to your supporters.
Sample posters and flyers to help you promote Gift Aid to your supporters