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Gift Aid is the easiest way to increase your donation, as it allows us to reclaim the basic rate tax on your gift. It can apply to one-off donations, or those over a specific period, and can apply to sponsorships and certain membership fees. It can even be backdated for up to six years.
If you pay higher rate tax you can claim extra relief on your donations. If you claim age-related allowances or tax credits, Gift Aid donations can sometimes increase your entitlement.
How it works
The Gift Aid scheme is for gifts of money by UK taxpayers. As a charity we take your donation (which is money you've already paid tax on) and reclaim basic rate tax from the government on its gross equivalent – the amount before basic rate tax was deducted.
Basic rate tax is 20%, if you give £10 using Gift Aid, it's worth £12.50 to the charity. For donations between 6 April 2008 and 5 April 2011 we will also get a separate government supplement of three pence on every pound you give.
How to make a donation using Gift Aid
To make a Gift Aid donation, you'll need to make a Gift Aid declaration. We will normally ask you to complete a simple form – one form can cover every gift made for whatever period you choose, and can cover gifts you have already made and any gifts you may make in the future.
A Gift Aid declaration must include:
- your full name
- your home address
- the name of the charity
- details of your donation, and it should say that it's a Gift Aid donation
Gifts made jointly by people living together
You can use Gift Aid for gifts you make jointly. All you need to do is tell us how much each of you is giving, and each make a Gift Aid declaration.
Making sure you've paid enough tax to use Gift Aid
You can use Gift Aid if the amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax you've paid in the tax year (6 April one year to 5 April the next) in which you make your donation is at least equal to the amount of basic rate tax we are reclaiming on your gift. If you make a number of Gift Aid donations, you will need to consider the tax you've paid on each donation on an accumulative basis. If you don't pay enough tax you may be required to pay any shortfall in tax to the government.
You don't necessarily have to be working to be paying tax. Apart from tax on income from a job or self-employment, the tax you've paid could include:
- tax deducted at source from savings interest
- tax on State Pension and/or other pensions
- tax on investment or rental income
- Capital Gains Tax on gains
However, only UK tax counts. So if you only pay tax outside the UK, you won't be able to use Gift Aid.
Claiming back higher rate tax
There is an extra benefit for higher rate taxpayers. You can reclaim relief on the amount you have donated – we claim the basic rate tax on the value of your gift, and you can reclaim the difference between higher and basic rate tax.
For example, if you give £100 to Mountain Rescue England and Wales, we can reclaim Gift Aid of £25, making your total gross donation worth £125. As a higher taxpayer, you can reclaim on the gross donation another 20% (difference between the two tax bands), which is £25. Which means your £125 gift to us costs you £75.
All you need to do is provide details of your Gift Aid donations on your tax return or self-assessment form. Even better, there are no limits, so your gift to us can be as small or large as you wish. If you prefer, instead of claiming back the 20% difference for yourself, you can donate it to us. Simply select Mountain Rescue England and Wales as your chosen charity if you are doing it online, otherwise please quote X80655 on your tax form.
A Gift Aid declaration can be made either in writing or orally and may cover donations made since 5 April 2003 and all future donations.
As a donor you must give us authority to reclaim tax from the government on the gift. All we need is a single Gift Aid declaration, which will not only cover your future donations, but also on past donations you have made for the six years prior, (but no earlier than 6 April 2000). You can download the Mountain Rescue England and Wales Gift Aid declaration form and send it to us.
Please also let us know if you change your name or address by emailing us as at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mountain Rescue England and Wales is a registered charity, number 222596.