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Gift Aid

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 Gift Aid declaration form is now available for use by Scout Groups/Districts/Counties/Areas. It contains 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 own group GA form with the new wording below.
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.

The Gift Aid declaration in the Family Information Form also contains the right wording.

Registering for Gift Aid

Before applying for Gift Aid, your Group/District/County/Area must be registered with HMRC.

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.

The registration process has changed recently and groups are now required to complete the on-line CHA1.

Guidance from The Scout Association for completing the CHA1 is available for download. For further support or information about Gift Aid, please contact the HMRC Charities Helpline on 0845 302 0203 (open from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

In the past we have found that many Groups/Districts/Counties/Areas 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 since registering with HMRC, you may be able to claim back the previous four years of contributions.

Online gift aid

From 1 April 2013, Gift Aid reclaims by UK charities can be completed online via the internet or direct transmission from donor databases, or via a newly designed physical form for those who do not have internet access.
This change to an automated method will have some significant benefits including the reduction of Gift Aid administration for charities and an increase in the speed of claiming money from HMRC.

These changes may also create some challenges for local Scouting with more information required from donors including a postcode. The automation will enable greater scrutiny by HMRC including earlier identification of donors who no longer pay enough tax for the charity to claim Gift Aid.

In order to meet these changes, we recommend local Groups, Districts and Counties/Areas do the following:

Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS)

The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme went 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.

You need to have made successful Gift Aid claims for 2 out of the previous 4 years to be eligible for the Small Donations Scheme. However, because Scout Groups come under the Community Buildings part of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, you will only be able apply this to money collected in your Scout meeting place. Outside activities such as bag packing will not be eligible. HMRC are now reviewing previous GASDS. Groups that have submitted claims for bag packing etc, are being asked to repay the monies awarded.

Groups in Scotland are advised to contact SHQ as different rules may apply.

More information about GASDS is available from the HMRC website.

Any questions or enquiries should be made to HMRC’s charity helpline: 0845 302 0203.


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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW