The new quicker way to get gift aid

Gift aid is crucial for charities. Most charity donors are tax payers and charities can get an extra 25% on these donations. For most charities that is a lot of money! This week HMRC launched a radically overhauled system for claiming gift aid.

The basics of the new gift aid system

How to claim

From this week charities can claim gift aid online. In fact, there are three ways they can now claim:

  • Online form
  • Gift aid software (e.g. through your donor database)
  • New paper form

Implementation timescale

The system is live now, though old forms (R86i) will be accepted until 30 September 2013.

Good or bad?

This move is unlikely to surprise many since it follows the government’s stated aim to gradually move all services online to save money. ‘Inevitable’ may therefore be a better judgement on this new system. However, HMRC claim the following benefits of the new system:

  • Faster and more accurate claims
  • Acknowledgement of your claim
  • Easier Gift Aid records for sponsored events
  • Higher limit for aggregated donations

Of course, you should probably expect some teething problems!

How does the system work?

Government Gateway

The system looks very similar to other online HMRC services used for filing tax and PAYE details. If you don’t have an account you can get one here.

Attaching spreadsheets

If your donor database does not yet support the new system and you want to make use of the online claim system then you can download spreadsheets which are appropriately formatted and can then be attached to your claim. You can find these here.

Alternatives for small charities

If you are a small charity gift aid can be understandably daunting and sometimes the admin can almost outweigh the benefit. If that’s you then check out these online fundraising platforms which automatically claim gift aid on your behalf:

We are currently working on an evaluation of all the major fundraising platforms to help charities decide the best option for them. If you are interested then sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date.

Update: Many of our clients and readers use the popular open source stakeholder database CiviCRM. If you do, you will be pleased to know that there is an extension available that enables online submission of gift aid reports. You can find more details here.

About the Author

Managing Director
Andy manages the company and oversees client relationships. He’s run several other start-ups and charities, and is a qualified solicitor with an interest in social business and enterprise.