Gift Aid is a simple government initiative which allows you to increase the value of your donations at no extra cost to you. For every pound you give, you can get an extra 25 pence from HM Revenue & Customs, helping your donations go further.
In real terms, this means that 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 taxpayers then the potential Gift Aid is around £750 per year.
A revised generic Scout Gift Aid declaration form is now available containing the new wording that HM Revenue & Customs require for all new Gift Aid declarations from 1 January 2013. Feel free to amend this generic form to suit your local needs or use your group GA form with the new wording.
New wording - I confirm I have paid or will 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 or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs), that I donate to, will reclaim on my gifts for that tax year. I understand that other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify. I understand the charity will reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 that I give.
In the past we have found that many Groups/Districts/Counties will spend a great deal of time on a grant application with no guarantee of a return. Gift Aid does not take anywhere near the amount of time to administer as a standard grant application, and income is guaranteed, yet not everyone is doing it.
HM Revenue & Customs regards membership subscriptions as 'donations' and groups or districts can claim Gift Aid on these fees. You can also get Gift Aid on money donated for sponsored events. Gift Aid is not available on camp or Jamboree fees because the benefit to the 'donor' is regarded as too high to qualify for the scheme. If you have not claimed Gift Aid before, you are entitled to claim back the previous four years of contributions.
The Small Donations Scheme goes live in April 2013. Under the new scheme, charities that have a track record of making Gift Aid claims will be able claim on small cash donations, without a donor declaration form. Guidance for the Small Donations Scheme will be published by HMRC in mid March.
Before applying for Gift Aid, your Group/District/County must be registered with HMRC.
In Scotland, Scout Groups and Districts cannot claim Gift Aid unless registered as a charity in its own right with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). Once registered with OSCR, Groups can then register with HMRC for the purposes of reclaiming Gift Aid. For further information please visit Scouts Scotland.
The registration process has changed recently and groups are now required to complete a form called a CHA1.HMRC have introduced a new form and a revised Scout version will be available soon. Until then the generic is available from the HMRC website.
Until 21 April, the completed form should be returned to:
St Johns House
After this date, it will be on-line as detailed above. Further information on this can be found on the HMRC website.