How your PTA can claim Gift Aid from HMRC
What is Gift Aid?
Gift Aid is a way for the government to support charities.
According to HMRC, 'you can claim back 25p every time an individual
donates £1 to your charity or community amateur sports club (CASC).
This is called Gift Aid.' Each individual must pay income tax or
capital gains tax in the UK and have paid enough tax in that year
to cover the donation. The donation must be their own money and not
donated on behalf of a collective. PTFA chair Louise Skitt told us,
'We raised an additional £341 in Gift Aid from a sponsored bounce.
It took one person filling in an online form for one evening, and
it was definitely worth the effort!'
What kinds of donations are eligible?
PTAs who have registered for Gift Aid can claim on many of the
donations they receive, but there are exceptions. The donation must
be an outright gift with no benefit, in good or services, to the
donor. The most popular PTA fundraisers to which Gift Aid could
- Building and equipment appeals: if you're
asking for donations that go directly to a specific appeal, where
the donor receives no benefit
- Events: although event admissions are excluded
because of the benefit to the donor, PTAs can request a voluntary
donation on top of the admission price, on which Gift Aid can be
- Sponsorship: as long as the supporter receives
nothing in return, donations made through sponsored activitie,s
such as a fun run, sponsored read or spellathon, can be subject to
Gift Aid. In this case, the sponsor form acts as a multiple
declaration form. The recommended method is to include the
following boxes for the sponsor to complete:
- sponsor's full name
- sponsor's full home postal address - as a minimum, HMRC will
accept the number (or name) of the house and the full postcode
- amount pledged
- amount collected
- date collected
- tick box to have amount treated as a Gift Aid donation
- PTAs can design their own sponsor form or you can download our
Gift Aid sponsor form and add your PTA name and event details.
You will also need to include the date the sponsorship payments
were received by your charity. A signature isn't required to claim
back Gift Aid.
- 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.
What isn't eligible for Gift Aid?
Because of the requirement that the donor doesn't receive any
benefit, these popular PTA activities would be excluded from Gift
- buying books, jumble sale items and food
- admission and tickets to events such as fairs, quiz nights and
film nights where there is a clear benefit to the donor
- payment for raffle or lottery tickets (including 100 clubs) -
the chance of winning a prize, however small, is considered a
What do the parents need to do?
For larger donations, you need to ask eligible parents and
supporters to confirm they are UK taxpayers. Ask them to complete
and sign a Gift Aid declaration form, which you should then keep on
file. This must include the donor's full name and address and the
name of the PTA. Explain to donors that you can't receive Gift Aid
without this information. You only need to ask your supporters to
complete one form, which can cover every gift they make to you, or
gifts over a time period of their choosing. It can also cover gifts
already made. More information and a sample declaration form is
available from hmrc.gov.uk. The HMRC website has guidance on
completing Gift Aid declarations.
How can we start claiming gift aid?
If you do not have an online account with HMRC you'll need to
register and enrol. Apply to HMRC for recognition 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. If your PTA is based in Scotland,
you need to apply to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
(OSCR). The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is currently in
the process of registering charities but it is still possible to
claim Gift Aid as long as you have been granted charitable tax
status by HMRC.
Can we claim Gift Aid online?
Yes, you can file your Gift Aid and Gift Aid Small Donations
Scheme (GASDS) claims via HMRC's online service. There is also a
paper form available.
What records should we keep?
You will need to keep adequate records that show a clear link
between an individual's donation and their Gift Aid declaration.
This enables HMRC to trace a donation back to the donor if they
need to check that person had paid enough tax to cover what's being
claimed by the charity. PTAs should keep a record of declarations
for six years after the most recent donation on which you claimed
Gift Aid. As PTA committees often change, it's especially important
that you to keep the records safe and in a place where you have
easy access to them.
What is the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme and can PTAs use
The GASDS is designed as a top-up to Gift Aid for 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 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.
You must make a Gift Aid claim in the year you make a GASDS claim.
You complete the same forms as for Gift Aid and tell HMRC how much
you are claiming and the year the donations were collected. That's
it - there's no need to provide donor information. From 6 April
2016, you can claim up to £2,000 in each tax year.
How long do we have to wait for the money?
Once you've filed your Gift Aid return, you'll get the payment
by BACS within four weeks if you claim online and five weeks if you
claim by post.
Go for it!
Gift Aid isn't right for every PTA, but if you have the
resources to do it, and an enthusiastic PTA running appeals and
sponsored challenges, it can make a big difference. It's an ideal
project for someone to take on who has good attention to detail and
who perhaps isn't able to get involved in fundraising, or who wants
a role they can do on their own.
For more information,read our Gift Aid FAQs
To read the HMRC Gift Aid pages go to gov.uk/claim-gift-aid
For further information about the GASDS go to www.gov.uk/claim-gift-aid/small-donations-scheme
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