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Gift Aid - Questions and answers

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is a UK Government tax relief scheme that allows charities to claim tax paid on donations. If you sign up to Gift Aid, Diabetes UK can reclaim the tax you’ve paid on your donations. Currently, for every pound you donate, we can get an additional 25p from the government, without any additional cost to you. This means we’ll be able to claim £5 on a £20 donation. The good news is that Gift Aid can also be applied on donations you’ve made in the last four years.

Plus, you can Gift Aid your charitable donations to as many charities as you like, as long as you’ve paid enough income or capital gains tax to cover all the Gift Aid that will be claimed.

Am I eligible to sign up for Gift Aid?

You must be a UK taxpayer to join the scheme. This means one of the following applies to you:

  • income tax is deducted from your salary before you receive it
  • you pay tax after submitting a self-assessment form each year
  • you have a taxable pension plan, taxable savings, or investment income
  • you have paid capital gains tax, for example on the sale of a property or shares.

You must have paid an amount of tax at least equal to the amount Diabetes UK and other charities will claim on your donations in Gift Aid in a tax year. For example, if you donate £100 in one tax year, we’ll claim £25 in Gift Aid on your donations. You need to have paid at least £25 in income or capital gain tax in that year.

Can I sign up for Gift Aid if I’m a pensioner?

You might still pay tax on a private pension scheme, savings account or capital gains tax if you sell property or shares. We recommend that you check with your pension provider. The amount of tax you have paid needs to be equal to or more than the amount we’ll be reclaiming in Gift Aid each tax year. If you only receive the basic State Pension, then you won’t pay any Income Tax and won’t be able to Gift Aid your donations.

Are there any hidden charges?

No. Gift Aid is taken from tax you’ve already paid so there’s no charge to you. It doesn’t affect your tax status either.

How do I sign up for Gift Aid?

Tick the Gift Aid option when donating, setting up membership or buying from the Diabetes UK Online Shop. If you received a donation pack, please opt in for Gift Aid on the paper form and return it to us in the envelope provided. You can also speak to our Supporter Care team by calling our helpline on 0345 123 2399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.

We’ve also got downloadable forms online that you can fill in electronically and email to us at helpline@diabetes.org.uk.

What do I need to know when signing up to Gift Aid?

You must pay UK taxes to join the scheme, and the amount of taxes you pay in a year must be the same or higher than what the charity or charities reclaim in that year. If you pay less, it’s your responsibility to pay back the difference. Tell us when you stop paying taxes or no longer pay enough taxes, and we’ll stop claiming on your donations straight away.

Example 1: Jane works part time, and her income tax is £300 per year. She supports two charities and has provided her Gift Aid declarations to both charities. This year, she donated £100 and the charities claimed £25 in Gift Aid. The amount of tax Jane paid is higher than what was claimed in Gift Aid, so there’s no issue.

Example 2: At the start of the year, James was working full time and was paying income tax. He has been supporting three charities for a long time and had direct debits to donate monthly. James lost his job after one month, but he wanted to continue supporting the charities that were close to his heart. He kept the direct debits running but called the charities to say that he had stopped paying taxes, so the charities stopped claiming Gift Aid on his monthly direct debit donations. After three months, James found another job and started paying taxes again. He’ll be getting in touch with the charities to provide a new declaration.

What if I’m a higher rate taxpayer?

Charities can only claim Gift Aid at the basic rate. If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, you can claim the difference between the higher tax rate you’re paying and the basic tax rate in your self-assessment tax return. HMRC will refund you the difference, which you can donate as well.

What donations aren’t eligible for Gift Aid?

Charities can't claim Gift Aid on any donations:

  • from a non-UK taxpayer
  • made on behalf of someone else or a group of people
  • made on behalf of a company
  • to a family member or friend participating in an event where the charity is contributing to their costs
  • made in return for goods, rights or services.

Why am I being asked whether it's my own money that I'm donating?

If you donate on behalf of either a company or another person, we aren’t eligible to claim Gift Aid on your donation, even if you’re a UK taxpayer.

Can I make an anonymous donation?

Yes, you can, every donation makes a difference to our work. But please note that if you make an anonymous donation, we can’t claim Gift Aid, as we need your name and home address for submitting the Gift Aid claim to HMRC, so you can be identified as a taxpayer.

If you’re concerned about sharing your personal details, please have a look at our privacy policy and how your data is managed. 

I’m taking part in an event. Can my friends and family Gift Aid their sponsorship?

Thank you for supporting Diabetes UK, it makes a big difference. Diabetes UK runs several fundraising events every year. For most events, at the point of registration, we ask the fundraiser to set up an online page. The link to the page can be shared with family and friends asking them to sponsor you. When your sponsors donate online, they’ll have an opportunity to Gift Aid their donation.

You can also use a sponsorship form from our fundraising kit to collect donations and declarations from your sponsors.

There may be some situations where we can’t claim Gift Aid on donations from family members, for example, when you receive an incentive or benefit over a certain value. We work to ensure our benefit scheme doesn’t impact our ability to claim Gift Aid, so such situations won’t be common.

I’ve raised money from an event at my school or office. Can Gift Aid be claimed?

To claim Gift Aid, we need to know who has donated, the value of the donation, and have a declaration with their name and address. If you collected cash donations without knowing who has contributed specific amounts, we won’t be able to claim Gift Aid.

Using donation envelopes with Gift Aid wording, or a system where donors complete declarations when they donate, will be acceptable. Please get in touch with your fundraising contact or our Supporter Care team for more information. Our helpline number is 0345 123 2399 and is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.

I want to make a donation on behalf of a company – is that OK?

That’s great. Your donation will make a difference to our work. Your company will be able to claim tax relief, but Gift Aid can’t be claimed on a company donation.

Can you claim Gift Aid on donations via Charities Aid Foundations (CAF) or other charitable vouchers?

No, Gift Aid can’t be applied to CAF or other charitable donations as they’ve already applied the Gift Aid to your account.

If you’re unsure of anything or have any further questions, please call us on 0345 123 2399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, or email helpline@diabetes.org.uk

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