Gift Aid explained
Gift Aid is a quick and easy way to make your donation go even further. Here’s a quick summary of how it works.
How it works
As a registered charity, Dorset Wildlife Trust can reclaim the tax on your membership subscriptions and donations if you pay UK Income or Capital Gains Tax. With Gift Aid, for every £1 you donate, we can reclaim an additional 25p from HMRC at no extra cost to you.
If every Dorset Wildlife Trust member and supporter who pays tax were to make a Gift Aid declaration, this would provide an additional £225,000 per year towards our vital conservation work.
Once you have completed a Gift Aid declaration form, Dorset Wildlife Trust will be able to claim Gift Aid on your donations until you let us know otherwise. We can also include any donations you have already made in the last four years.
Your declaration must include your full name and home address, including your postcode.
Will Gift Aid cost me anything?
Gift Aid doesn’t cost you a penny, ticking the box just means that we can reclaim the tax on your membership subscriptions and donations, if you are a UK taxpayer, directly from HMRC.
Am I eligible to make a Gift Aid declaration?
To qualify for Gift Aid, you must pay an amount of UK Income and/or Capital Gains Tax, which is at least equal to the amount that we and all other charities will reclaim on your donations in each tax year (6 April to 5 April).
How will I know if I pay income tax?
Look at papers relating to money paid to you. Savings/bank account statements will normally show if tax has been deducted and the amount.
This also used to apply to dividend income. However, new rules introduced in April 2016, mean that a Dividend Tax Allowance now applies instead, and dividend income up to the amount of that allowance will be tax free. So if you are receiving large amounts in dividends but with minimal other income, and if you make sizeable Gift Aid donations, you might need to check your tax position.
How will I know if I pay income tax on my pension?
As a pensioner you will receive a P60 form each year. Keep this safe, as it will show any tax deductions.
Do I pay capital gains tax?
You are usually aware if you pay capital gains tax, as you would have had to declare it. This would have been declared by yourself or by your accountant/financial advisor.
If I have a Gift Aid declaration, what should I do if my tax situation changes and I no longer pay UK Income or capital gains tax or if I pay less than expected?
If you pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in the tax year, it is your responsibility to pay any difference to HMRC. Gift Aid is claimed at 25p per £1 of your support. Taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify for Gift Aid.
If you no longer pay sufficient UK Income or Capital Gains tax, please inform us as soon as possible and we will stop claiming Gift Aid on your membership and/or donations.
I don’t pay tax but my partner does.
If you have joint or family Dorset Wildlife Trust membership and your partner pays tax then he/she can tick the Gift Aid box, provided that the membership is paid either from your partner’s account or from a jointly held or named account (ie the payment is from the ‘Gift Aider’).
Is it worthwhile as I only pay the minimal subscription?
Every penny counts. We can reclaim 25p in every pound. For example a year’s membership of £50 would equate to £12.50 Gift Aid per year. We have thousands of members, so if everyone ticked the Gift Aid box we could claim a substantial amount to help us.
Can I still help if I’m not a UK taxpayer?
Yes. By ticking the non-taxpayer box, you can help us keep our records up to date. This means we will not contact you by email or phone regarding your Gift Aid status in the future.
I may have already made a Gift Aid declaration to another charity. Does this mean I can't tick the box again, or don't need to?
No. Ticking one box means that only that one particular charity can reclaim the tax on your donations, so it’s important to tick a box for each charity that you want to claim Gift Aid. However, if you pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in the tax year, it is your responsibility to pay any difference to HMRC. Gift Aid is claimed at 25p on every pound of your support.
I support several charities, can I declare Gift Aid with all of them?
To declare Gift Aid, you must pay an amount of UK Income and/or Capital Gains Tax, which is at least equal to the combined amount of gift aid that charities are claiming. If you pay less tax than this then you can stop one or more of the declarations to ensure the gift aid is not more than the tax you are paying.
I’ve already made a Gift Aid declaration to Dorset Wildlife Trust. Do I need to tick the box again?
Not unless we ask you. All your donations and subscriptions are covered with one declaration.
Should I indicate that I have made a Gift Aid declaration on my tax return?
Not if you are a standard rate taxpayer and do not receive a tax return from HM Revenue & Customs. However, if you do receive a tax return, you must declare the information.
What happens if I'm a higher rate taxpayer?
If you pay a higher rate tax, you can claim back the difference between the rate you pay and the basic rate of 20% on your donations.
For example, if you donate £100 to charity – they claim Gift Aid to make your donation £125. You pay tax at 41% so can personally claim back £26.25 (£125 x 21%). This applies at the Higher or Additional Rate.
You can do this either:
- Through your Self-Assessment Tax Return
- By asking HMRC to amend your tax code, there is more information available on how to do this on HMRC website