Gift Aid is a simple government initiative which allows donors to increase the value of their donations at no extra cost to them. For every pound given, charities can get an extra 25 pence from HM Revenue & Customs, helping donations go further. 

So what does this mean in real terms?  If a Group had 50 members paying £60 per year it would give them a total income of £3,000 per year.  Assuming all of the parents/guardians are tax payers then the potential Gift Aid is around £750 per year.

If you have not claimed Gift Aid before you are entitled to claim back the previous four years contributions

You can claim Gift Aid!          
Groups are able to claim Gift Aid on membership subscriptions as HMRC regards these as 'donations'.  You can also claim Gift Aid on money donated for sponsored events.

If you have not claimed Gift Aid since registering with HMRC, you may be able to claim back the previous four years of contributions.

How To Register      
Before applying for Gift Aid, your Group/District/county must register with online with HMRC

NOTE: In Scotland, Scout Groups and Districts cannot claim Gift Aid unless registered as a separate charity with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). Once registered with OSCR, groups can register with HMRC for the purposes of reclaiming Gift Aid. For further information please visit Scouts Scotland.

Do I need a Charity number?         
Scout groups are excepted charities and are not required to register with the Charity Commission unless they have an annual turnover of over £100,000 per year or they have a have permanent endowment (a rare interest in land/building or other assets which cannot be spent as ‘income’) and their income is £5,000 or over; or they own land or buildings and their income is £5,000 or over.

If your Scout Unit is one of those excepted from registration you cannot use or cite the District, County or The Scout Association's charity number as your own. HMRC will provide you with a unique Gift Aid registration number which can also be used for setting up Just Giving & Virgin Money Giving pages.

NOTE: that even excepted and unregistered charities still remain subject to general charity law and the rules of the Charity Commission which may investigate matters where there is proper cause for concern.

It is important to note that the above exception only applies to Scout Units based in England and Wales. Those based in Northern Ireland and Scotland are subject to compulsory registration with their own charity regulation bodies.  For further information please see the Northern Irish or Scottish Charity commission websites.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for Gift Aid, you must pay an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for each tax year (6 April to 5 April) that is at least equal to the amount of tax that all the charities that you donate to will reclaim on your donations for that tax year. Taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify. This also applies if you pay tax on your savings, pension plan or investment income.

Are you a higher rate taxpayer?

There is an extra benefit for higher rate taxpayers as you are able to reclaim tax on the amount you have donated. We, as a charity, can claim the basic rate of tax on the value of your gift, and you can reclaim the difference between higher rate (40 per cent) and basic rate tax (20 per cent).  Just provide details of your Gift Aid donations on your tax return or self-assessment form.

Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme

Scout Groups can now claim Gift Aid on donations (e.g. bag packs and donation buckets etc.) under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme where the collection took place after 6th April 2017, but please refer to the following websites for more information:

How to Claim

Details of how to claim Gift Aid and when claims will be paid are available on the HMRC Website.

Download a Gift Aid Declaration Form

What am I unable to claim Gift Aid on

Gift Aid cannot be claimed on Camp or Jamboree fees because the benefit to the 'donor' is regarded as too high to qualify for the scheme.

You cannot claim Gift Aid on donations made through online giving platforms, such as Just Giving, Virgin Money Giving or BT My Donate. Gift Aid is processed through these websites automatically.