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FAQs Gift Aid

Gift Aid is a simple initiative which allows your PTA to increase the amount raised from UK taxpayers on cash donations. Don't be put off by thinking it's time-consuming, as PTFA chair Louise Skitt told us, 'We raised an additional £341 in Gift Aid from a sponsored bounce, for one person filling in an online form for one evening - it was definitely worth the effort!'

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is quite simply free money and a great way to boost your PTA's income. The official terminology from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is 'Gift Aid is a tax relief which allows a charity to reclaim from HMRC the basic rate of Income Tax a donor has paid on their donation (gift).' In layman's terms this means that those supporters who are current UK tax payers are eligible to Gift Aid their cash donations. This gives your PTA an extra 25p for every £1 donated.

How does Gift Aid work?

When a UK taxpayer makes a monetary donation to your PTA (that is an outright gift), they have already paid tax on that money. Your PTA can, through Gift Aid, reclaim the tax paid. By asking your supporters for permission to reclaim the tax they have already paid on their donation, you can increase the value of such donations by a whopping 25%!

Are there any specific rules?

Your PTA needs to register with HMRC, and the donor cannot receive goods or services in return for their cash gift. Gift Aid could apply for:
Non-uniform days: Payments from parents to enable pupils to wear their own clothes on a specified day can be Gift Aided as long as pupils are permitted not to wear uniform, whether or not a donation has been made. If the donation is compulsory, then Gift Aid cannot be claimed.
Sponsored events: As long as the supporter receives nothing in return, then donations made through sponsored activities such as a fun run or sponsored bounce, read or spellathon etc can be subject to Gift Aid.
Ticket entry to a PTA event: Payments for such tickets CANNOT be Gift Aided but a voluntary donation, on top of the minimum ticket price, can.    

How does your PTA qualify?

You'll need to apply to HMRC for confirmation that your PTA is a charity entitled to claim UK charity tax reliefs. This is a fairly straightforward process. Once approval has been given your PTA will receive a reference number and confirmation of the date the entitlement to claim Gift Aid begins. If your PTA is based in England or Wales and currently has an income in excess of £5,000 per annum, then you will also need to register with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Click here for more information on charity registration. If your PTA is based in Scotland, you need to apply to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). In Northern Ireland there is currently no requirement to register with the Charity Commission, so PTAs should simply apply to HMRC.

How do we get started? 

Firstly you'll need to ask eligible parents and other supporters to confirm that they are UK taxpayers. The next step is to have them complete and sign a Gift Aid declaration form, which you should then keep on file. This form needs to include the donor's full name and address and the name of the PTA. Make this explicit to donors by explaining that you can't receive Gift Aid without this information. You only need to ask your supporters to complete one form as this provides cover for every gift made to the same charity, for whatever period the parent chooses and can cover gifts they have already made and/or gifts they may make in the future. More information and a sample declaration form is available from hmrc.gov.uk.

How does your PTA claim Gift Aid?

In April 2013 a new 'Charities Online' service came into effect. This allows PTAs to register to make Gift Aid repayment claims online, reducing administrative burdens, saving postal costs and speeding up the process. Click here to learn how to sign up and use Charities Online.

What is the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme?

The GASDS is designed as a top-up to Gift Aid for those donations where it is difficult to get a declaration from a donor, e.g. bucket collections passed around at a school concert. Charities can claim a payment on donations of £20 or less, for up to £5,000 a year. Cash donations will need to be paid directly into the charity's bank account. PTAs will need to be claiming Gift Aid already to make use of the GASDS and must have at least two years good claims history. A Gift Aid claim will need to be made in the year you make a GASDS claim. Complete the same forms as for Gift Aid, using the Charities Online claiming system - tell HMRC how much you are claiming and the year donations were collected. That's it - no need to provide donor information. For full terms, visit hmrc.gov.uk.

Resources

The HMRC website had detailed guidance notes on completing online Gift Aid claims. Click here to be directed to their Gift Aid Toolkit.

The above is intended as guidance only. We recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on the guidance provided.


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