HMRC is to introduce an extra step in the online gift aid process. A pre-donation questionnaire, which supporters must complete before they can make gift aided donations online, will be introduced according to updated HMRC guidance.
The revised guidelines follow a dispute between HMRC and JustGiving over whether charities could claim gift aid to donations on its website signed off with messages of support by more than one person, such as “love from mum and dad” – at a cost of millions to charities.
Speaking at Charity Tax Group’s annual conference, Tony Johnson, senior technical adviser at HMRC, said the update aims to clarify regulations. He added that JustGiving is happy with the new guidance.
Clear as possible
HMRC said it has always been the case that Gift Aid can be claimed when an individual donor, who pays tax in the UK, makes a donation, even if additional names are added in a supporting message. “HMRC’s advice on this issue appears to have been misinterpreted so we are going to ensure our guidance is as clear as possible,” the taxman stated.
Where gifts are made by groups of people, such as work collections or large groups of friends, Gift Aid is not due and should not be claimed.
It is a government priority to maximise Gift Aid on eligible donations, and £1.2bn of tax repayments were made to charities in the tax year 2014 to 2015 through Gift Aid.
HMRC will continue working closely with charity collection agents to help them improve their processes so that Gift Aid is not removed from eligible donations.
The updated guidance can be found at www.gov.uk/claim-gift-aid/overview.
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