Gift Aid and GASDS are important sources of income for churches, increasing the potential value of donations by 25%. On this page you can read some of the basics, plus some guidance on claiming for contactless donations and how to claim GASDS if you use the Parish Giving Scheme. If you have more technical questions you can view the national church’s advice on the Parish Resources website. If you have any questions about the topics on this page you can contact the Generous Giving Adviser, Joshua Townson, via email or telephone, on 01865 208 757.
Gift Aid and GASDS are important sources of income for churches, increasing the potential value of donations by 25%. On this page you can read some of the basics, plus some guidance on claiming for contactless donations and how to claim GASDS if you use the Parish Giving Scheme. If you have more technical questions you can view the national church’s advice on the Parish Resources website.
If you have any questions about the topics on this page you can contact the Generous Giving Adviser, Joshua Townson, via email or telephone, on 01865 208 757.
Gift Aid is derived from a donor’s income tax and/or capital gains tax. When a donor makes a cash donation you can ask them for permission to claim Gift Aid. If they give permission you can then claim the value of 25% of the donation from HM Revenue and Customs. Please note that you can only claim Gift Aid on donations of money. A guide on how to claim can be found here.
In order to claim Gift Aid you must be able to prove (if asked) to HMRC that the donor gave you permission. The best way to do this is to ask a donor to sign a Gift Aid declaration. You can read more about declarations and find the prescribed wording on the Parish Resources website here. You can also find more information and examples on the HMRC website here. Electronic declarations are acceptable so, for example, a digital declaration form on your website could be downloaded, completed and emailed to you by a donor without the need for them to physically sign it. Gift Aid declarations can be signed in perpetuity (unless the donor asks you to no longer claim Gift Aid) and can also be backdated up to four tax years allowing you to claim historic Gift Aid (as long as the donor paid enough income tax in the year the donation was given).
Only named individuals can claim Gift Aid so it is absolutely essential to keep at least two responsible persons and two authorised claimants (click here for an explanation of these roles) registered with HMRC at any one time using the ChV1 form. It is particularly important to note that updating your details with the Charity Commission does not update HMRC.
Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS)
The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS), unlike Gift Aid, does not require permission from the donor in order for you to claim the value of 25% of the donation. This means that GASDS can also be claimed on anonymous donations. Claims are made though the same process as Gift Aid but because GASDS does not claim directly from any one person’s tax there are limits on what you can claim on (see here):
- You can claim on any cash or contactless donations* with a value up to and including £30 (from 6th April 2019). If the donation is more than £30 you cannot claim GASDS.
- You can claim on a maximum of £8,000 of eligible donations in any one tax year. This means the maximum you can receive from HMRC is £2,000 (£8,000 x 25% = £2,000).
- You can only claim on donations received within the last two tax years.
- Additionally, you must have claimed Gift Aid in the same tax year for the one in which you are claiming GASDS and in at least 2 of the last 4 tax years (without a 2-year gap between claims).
- The value of donations on which you claim GASDS can be no more than 10 times the total value of the Gift Aid donations on which you have made a claim. This means, to be eligible to claim GASDS against the maximum limit of £8,000, you must have claimed against at least £800 of Gift Aid donations in the same tax year (£800 x 10 = £8,000).
NB There are slightly different rules if you claim GASDS on donations received on more than one building (e.g. if you are claiming for two separate church buildings). For more information on this, and on GASDS in general, click here.
*With the recent change to allow contactless payments up to £50 it is possible that you will receive contactless donations which are ineligible for GASDS. You should be able to easily check if you have had any donations over £30 via the statement from your payment terminal provider. Only those donations over £30 will be ineligible, all other contactless donations will remain eligible.
Parish Giving Scheme
The Parish Giving Scheme automatically claims the Gift Aid on any donations they collect for which the donor has given permission. To do this they collect the Gift Aid under their own HMRC registration number. This means that, because of rules four and five in the above section on GASDS, if you do not make a Gift Aid claim using your church’s own HMRC registration number you will not be able to make a GASDS claim. To be eligible to claim your full GASDS allowance in the tax year you must make a Gift Aid claim on a minimum of £800 of donations (receiving £200 from HMRC) using your church’s own HMRC registration number.
Contactless donations with a value up to and including £30 can be included within your GASDS claim as though they were cash.
You can also claim Gift Aid on contactless donations and on Chip & PIN donations (useful if the donation is more than the GASDS limit of £30). To do this you need to collect all the information you would normally collect for Gift Aid and be able to find proof of the donation itself (i.e. on a statement from your payment device provider).
The best way to do this is to ask the donor to fill-in a donation envelope (one you would use for cash). You then need to write the date, time and method of the donation (contactless or Chip & PIN) on the envelope; this will allow you to identify the transaction on any statements. This process can also be followed when the donor already has a Gift Aid declaration in place.
Automated Gift Aid Claiming
Some donations management and church management programs have automated Gift Aid and GASDS claiming built in. If you are interested in this you should check with your provider.