Three options for making claims using Charities Online

Your charity or Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) can use Charities Online to claim Gift Aid tax repayments, tax back on other income, and a top-up payment under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS). Using Charities Online will make your repayments faster and easier. This guide explains the three options for claiming and will help you decide which option is best for you and your charity or CASC. You don't have to use the same method all the time, but you should only submit each claim once.

On this page:

Option 1: claim using an online form

Option 1 can be used to submit a Gift Aid repayment claim, or a top-up claim under GASDS.

The online claim form has fields you must fill in, and it automatically checks that the information has been entered in the correct format. To make claims using the online form you need to sign up to use HM Revenue & Custom's (HMRC) Online Services, and enrol for Charities Online. Find out more in the section 'Sign up and enrol for Charities Online' below.

For Gift Aid repayment claims, you can claim for up to 1,000 Gift Aid donations by completing and attaching a schedule spreadsheet to the online claim form.

If you regularly make claims on more than 1,000 donations HMRC strongly advise that you consider using option 2 as your claim will be processed quicker.

There is no limit to the number of claims you can submit. If for example your annual claim contains 6,000 donations, you can submit 6 claims online with up to 1,000 donations on each claim form.

You can also make a GASDS claim using the same online form. Charities and CASCs need to meet certain conditions in order to qualify for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. There is separate guidance on how to make a claim under GASDS - see the links below.

The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme: the basics

How to make a Gift Aid Small Donations Claim

See a demonstration of the Charities online service

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Option 2: claim through your own database

This option is for those who file Gift Aid claims for more than 1,000 donations, although it can also be used to make smaller claims. It can also be used to make claims under GASDS.

Those choosing this option will be able to send one claim per day directly from their own internal database or system, with details for up to 500,000 Gift Aid donations. Charities and CASCs wishing to use this system will either need to develop their own compatible software package or purchase a suitable package from a software provider.

If your charity is thinking of buying software to make a claim using the Charities online service, HMRC has published a list of commercial software and suppliers that have tested their products and provided evidence that they interact with the Charities online service. See the list at the Charities Online software from commercial suppliers' link below.

Charities Online software from commercial suppliers

If you're developing your own software, check the software requirements

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Sign up and enrol for Charities Online

To make claims using an online form or through your own database you need to sign up to use HMRC's Online Services, and enrol for Charities Online.

To do this you will need to:

  • sign up for an organisation Government Gateway account - you will only need to do this once
  • enrol to use the HMRC Charities online service - you will be asked to enter some 'known facts' about your charity
  • activate the Charities online service account using the Activation Code which will be sent to you by post from the Government Gateway

When you've done this you can file your claims electronically by using the HMRC schedule spreadsheets or by using your own database.

For more details about signing up and enrolling for Charities Online, follow the link below:

Sign up for HMRC Online Services and enrol for Charities Online

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Option 3: claim using a paper form

This option is for those who don't have access to the internet to make Gift Aid and GASDS claims.

There is a paper repayment claim form, called a ChR1. If you choose this option, you can order ChR1 forms from the HMRC Charities Helpline.

You will then need to complete the form and return it by post to HMRC. The form is designed so that HMRC can automatically scan the information into the new system. Old R68 forms or photocopies of the ChR1 will not be accepted because the new system will not be able to scan the information.

There will be no limit to the number of claims that can be submitted on the ChR1. Continuation sheets for the form (called ChR1CS) can be requested so you can send in the details up to 90 Gift Aid donations with each individual claim.

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Contacting the HMRC Charities Helpline

For more help you can contact the Charities Helpline.

Contact details for HMRC Charities Helpline

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