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HMRC Guidance on Gift Aid

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) published updated guidance on Gift Aid declarations on 24 February 2012. Taken from the HMRC website, we bring you the information that is most relevant to PTAs.

PTAs do not need to change their existing Gift Aid declaration forms immediately - HMRC will continue to accept Gift Aid claims on donations made on the old forms until 31 December 2012. However, where possible, PTAs should incorporate any additional information required under the new guidance, so that staff and volunteers are providing the correct information to donors. You can check to see if your declaration forms include all that is needed by looking at HMRC's checklist

Gift Aid declarations can be made in writing (either on paper or electronically) and orally (in person or by telephone).

Written declarations

Written declarations should be made on forms based on the HMRC model. You can also print these onto collection envelopes used during school fundraising events, non-events and sponsored activities, as well as onto the more traditional fundraising sheet.

If the declaration is being made electronically (via text, email or through a website) there must be a note or statement to the donor stating that they must pay at least as much UK Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for the year of donation as you, and any other charities and CASCs they donate to, will claim on their donation(s). This must be clear and visible when the donor is completing their declaration and the website should be constructed to ensure the donor reads the statement before completing the declaration. Where possible, the message should also tell them exactly how much that tax is.

Oral declarations

If declarations are made orally, your PTA may want to keep an audible record of them. If not, then you must send a written confirmation to the donors of their declarations. See the HMRC website for full details on what this must include. The oral declaration is not effective until you send this written confirmation to the donor. The donor then has 30 days to cancel the declaration. If they do cancel, then you must repay HMRC any tax you have reclaimed. Any correspondence must be kept a record of, either electronically or on paper.

With both written and oral declarations, Gift Aid eligibility cannot be assumed. It must be a positive decision by donors - so a box needs to be ticked or verbally accepted. It is not acceptable to assume your donors are eligible 'unless told otherwise' to give Gift Aid.

Declarations linked to sponsored events

To save time and help you with your record keeping, use the declaration form from the HMRC website. If you decide to create your own declaration form, then there are a number of required fields:

  • the sponsor's name

  • the sponsor's home address

  • the amount collected

  • the date collected

  • a tick box to have the amount treated as a Gift Aid donation

  • the date when the sums collected were handed over to your PTA

What do you do if you want to make a joint declaration? 

If the money raised is going both to your PTA and an outside charity, then the two charities must ensure that the donor is aware of how the donation will be split across the charities. Each charity must keep records of how the donations were split between them, to be shown to the HMRC if required.

Please remember:

HMRC may ask to see the declarations from your donors, so you must keep these records to support your Gift Aid repayment claims. Every donation included in a claim must be supported by a Gift Aid declaration.

Visit the HMRC website for all the details on the new Gift Aid regulations. 

NOTE: You can only claim Gift Aid if your association is a registered charity.

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