Scouts have provided a detailed Q&A summary below to support you in making the most out of Gift Aid.

What’s Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is an easy way to make money for your charity. It’s a tax relief allowing UK charities to claim 25% for every eligible donation made by a UK taxpayer.

Does my Scout Group need a charity number?

No. To apply for Gift Aid you need to be recognised as a charity by HMRC. Scout Groups are given an ‘exception’ and not required to register with the Charity Commission unless:

• their income is more than £100,000
• or, they have permanent endowment
• or, they own land or buildings.
A Scout or Guide charity that has permanent endowment or owns a building must register if its income is more than £5,000.

‘Excepted’ Scout Groups: you can’t use or cite the District, County or The Scout Association’s charity numbers as your own. HMRC will provide you with a unique Gift Aid registration number which you can use for fundraising platforms too.

‘Non-excepted’ Scout Groups: If your Scout Group isn’t classed as ‘excepted’, you’ll need to register with HMRC as a charity to claim Gift Aid.

Note: In Scotland, Scout Groups and Districts can’t claim Gift Aid unless registered as a separate charity with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

Who’s eligible for Gift Aid?

A person must pay an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for each tax year that’s equal or more than the amount of tax that all the charities you donate to will reclaim on your donations for that year.

VAT and Council Tax, tax on savings, pension plan or investment income don’t qualify.

Higher rate taxpayers - who are they? 

If you pay tax above the basic rate, you can claim the difference between the rate you pay and the basic rate on your donation. It’s the same if you live in Scotland. You can do this either:
• through your Self Assessment Tax Return
• by asking HMRC to amend your tax code

What’s a Gift Aid declaration?

Gift Aid declarations are made by the donor. They must state:
• donor’s full name (at least their initial and last name)
• donor’s home address (at least their house number/name and postcode)
• name of your charity (ie your local Scout Group’s name)
• date of declaration
Gift Aid declarations must be completed and returned to your charity in preparation for their Gift Aid claim. Charities must keep these declarations as evidence – hard copies and electronic/scanned declarations are valid.
You can download copies of Gift Aid declaration forms at the top of this page.

How long is a Gift Aid declaration valid?

Charities can claim Gift Aid on a single donation, donations made in the future and any donations made in the past four years. It’s valid until the donor is no longer a UK taxpayer. You must make sure that the donor’s information is accurate at the time your charity makes a Gift Aid claim, eg it’s useful to check if your donors have a new address.
It’s good practice to send new Gift Aid forms to your supporters to update your database and maximise your Gift Aid claim.

What do I do with someone’s Gift Aid declaration?

It’s important that these are kept in a secure location – don’t throw them away. It’s helpful to have an electronic or scanned copy in case something happens to the original or it gets lost. You’ll need access to the Gift Aid declaration forms in case your Scout Group requires an audit.

How do I add a Gift Aid section onto a sponsorship form?

There are certain guidelines you need to follow. The Gift Aid section should be in its own box. This text has been approved for you to use in sponsorship and membership fee forms. Insert the appropriate details where you see the **:
Boost your donation by 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate. Gift Aid is reclaimed by the *Scout Group* from the tax you pay for the current tax year. Your address is needed to identify you as the current UK taxpayer. These details are kept for six financial years for any additional queries regarding your Gift Aid declaration. In order to Gift Aid your donation you must tick the box below:
*Insert tick box* I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations, it is my responsibility to pay the difference. I want to Gift Aid on my donation and any donations I make in the future, or have made in the past four years to *Scout Group*.
Date: __ / __ / __ Full name ______________________________________

What can we claim Gift Aid on?

You can claim Gift Aid on donations from individual UK taxpayers that have given a donation – this doesn’t include payment for goods and services. Here are some examples below of what is eligible.
Examples and special rules:
Bag packs and donation buckets – through the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS).
Sponsored challenges – fundraising platforms normally process this for you. All sponsorship payments are eligible for Gift Aid if the participants pay the cost of flights and accommodation etc. themselves.
Young person’s membership fees paid by parents/guardians – eligible for Gift Aid, but not for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS).
Adult subscription fees to a Scout Group, District, County and Headquarters can be covered by Gift Aid. Money from parents to cover the general running of the Group can also be included.
Volunteer expenses – donated back to your Scout Group.
Charity auctions – please note that when the retail value of an item in a charity auction exceeds the benefit limits, you can’t claim Gift Aid.

What can’t we claim Gift Aid on?

You can claim Gift Aid on donations from individual UK taxpayers who have given a donation – this doesn’t include payment for goods and services. Here are some examples below of what isn’t eligible.
Examples and special rules:
• Church collections – you can’t claim on donations collected in your church that are for another charity unless the church chooses to set up a fund to raise money for a charity. These donations then become part of the church’s income and they collect the Gift Aid due.
• Selling donated goods on behalf of individuals – this is exclusive to charity shops that operate a retail Gift Aid scheme to sell goods on behalf of donors.
• Charity events like a concert or dinner do not qualify for Gift Aid even if the ticket price is higher than the cost of the event. The money made is profit, not a donation.
• Camps and Jamboree fees – not eligible for Gift Aid because the benefit to the donor is regarded as too high to qualify.
• Donations from limited companies – not eligible because donations must come from individual UK taxpayers to qualify for Gift Aid.
• Payroll Giving – not eligible for Gift Aid because this is taken from the donor’s salary before Income Tax.
• Donations through charity cards or vouchers aren’t eligible, for example Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) vouchers.
• You can’t claim Gift Aid on donations received before you were recognised as a charity.

Charities online: How do we make a claim?

1. You may require Governance Documents before you begin.
2. There’s a step-by-step guide on HMRC for accessing Charities Online and making a claim.
3. For claims over £1,000, you’ll need a database of donations. If you haven’t got software to use, HMRC has put together some recommended suppliers.
4. Spreadsheet of your donations.

What’s the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS)?

This is designed for small charities and community fundraising events. You can claim 25% on cash donations of £30 or less and contactless card donations of £30 or less. From 6 April 2016, you can claim up to £2,000 in a tax year or £1,250 for earlier years. See HMRC guidelines on GASDS.

Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS): Community buildings
A community building is a building, or part of a building, which a charity uses to run charitable activities. Scout huts are a type of community building. If your Scout Group has fewer than two community buildings you can claim up to £8,000 of eligible small donations each tax year anywhere in the UK on the GASDS.
If your Scout Group has two or more community buildings you can claim either:
• A top-up payment on donations up to £8,000 collected in each community building
• A top-up payment on donations of up to £8,000 collected anywhere in the UK

Please read Chapter 8.4 of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme for more information.

Gift Aid form: Local Scout Groups: Download this form if you’re donating or raising money for your local Scout Group/ District/ County/ Headquarters.

Gift_Aid_Form__Jan_2020_-_TSA.pdf Download this form if you’re donating or raising money for UK Scouts.

If you have any questions about Gift Aid, please contact the Fundraising Team [email protected]