Sign up for HMRC Online Services and enrol for Charities Online

Charities and Community Amateur Sport Clubs (CASCs) can make Gift Aid repayment claims, and claim for other repayments on taxed income using the Charities Online service. Charities Online must also be used to claim top-up payments under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS).

To use Charities Online, your charity needs to sign up for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Online Services, and enrol for Charities Online. You should allow 15 days from the day you enrol before you can make your first online claim.

If your charity already has an HMRC Online Services account, for example for filing Self Assessment, Corporation Tax or VAT Returns, you need to enrol for the Charities Online service so that you can use it. This will add the service to your existing account.

This guide explains how to sign up for HMRC Online Services, and how to enrol and activate the Charities Online service.

On this page:

Sign up for HMRC Online Services

To use Charities Online, you need to sign up for HMRC Online Services.

New users

If you are a new user and are signing up to use HMRC Online Services for the first time you will need to create an online account with HMRC Online Services.

Existing Online services users

If your charity has already signed up for HMRC Online Services, for example to submit VAT returns online, you will already have an Online Services account. As an existing user of HMRC Online Services, you will already have a User ID and password. You will need these to enrol for the Charities Online service. For more information, see the section below 'Existing users: Add Charities Online to your HMRC Online Services account'.

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How to sign up for HMRC Online Services and enrol for Charities Online

If you are a new user and are signing up to use HMRC Online Services for the first time you will need to:

  1. Go to HMRC Online Services.
  2. Click on the 'Register' button in the 'New users' section.
  3. Follow the 'Sign up for HMRC online Services' link.
  4. Follow the 'Organisation' link.
  5. Tick the 'Charities' checkbox, then click the 'Next' button.

You're ready to enrol for the Charities Online Service. For more information, see the section below 'enrol for the Charities Online service: what you need to enrol'.

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Already signed up for HMRC Online Services?

  1. Go to HMRC Online Services and enter your User ID and password in the 'Existing users' section and click on the 'Login' button.
  2. On the 'Your HMRC Services' page follow the 'Enrol for Online Services' link in the 'Services you can add' section.
  3. On the 'Services you can add' page follow the Charities 'Enrol for service' link.

You're ready to enrol for the Charities Online Service.

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Enrol for Charities Online

  1. What you will need to enrol page - this page shows the information you will need to enrol.

    You will need your:

    • existing HMRC Charities Reference number, for example x12345
    • postcode (unless you indicate that your address is abroad)

    Please note that the post code you enter should be the same one you registered as the charity’s post code with HMRC or it will not be recognised. Your activation code will be sent to this post code.

    Plus either:

    • the last 4 digits of your organisation's bank account number - for charities and CASCs that were recognised or registered by HMRC before April 2013
    • your customer account reference - for charities and CASCs that were recognised or registered by HMRC after April 2013. This is a 10-digit number shown on the letter sent to you by HMRC when your charity application or CASC registration has been accepted (if you have a 9-digit customer account reference number, add a 0 (zero) to the start of the number, for example 145255587 should be entered as 0145255587)
  2. Terms & Conditions page - tick the checkbox to confirm you have read the terms and conditions.
  3. Enter your details as requested and then create a password.
  4. When you reach 'Step 4' your User ID will be displayed on-screen. You must make a note of this and keep it safe, as you will need it every time you log in to use HMRC Online Services. It will not be displayed again.
  5. Enter the information about your organisation.
  6. If your registration is successful you will be sent an Activation Code in the post.
  7. Next time you log into HMRC Online Services you will enter your User ID and password in the 'Existing users' section and log on to Charities Online using the Activation Code.

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Activating your Charities Online Service

You will receive your Activation Code through the post, in an envelope marked 'Government Gateway' and it will be sent to the post code you entered when enrolling for Charities Online.

You will need this code to activate the Charities Online service.

Your Activation Code can take up to a week to arrive and is only valid for 28 days. If you don't activate the service within that period, you'll have to log on with your User ID and password and re-enrol for the Charities Online, a new Activation Code will then be sent to you in the post.

If you have not received the code you can contact the Charities helpline who will be able to confirm if it has been issued and the address it was issued to.

Go to HMRC Online services to log in and activate Charities Online

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Help and support

If you can't find the help you need on the HMRC website you can call the Charities Helpline who will answer any queries about Charities Online.

Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) Helpline

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