IMPORTANT UPDATE gift aid is no longer processed via Diocesan House please register with HMRC and consider the benefits of the Parish Giving Scheme, details for both below.
Gift Aid Secretaries help to make a big difference to church finances.
Gift Aid allows churches to reclaim the basic rate tax on donations - boosting any donations from UK tax payers by 25%
This means that a gift of £10 from a donor is worth £12.50 to your church. Gift Aid applies to large and small donations – cash, cheque, standing order or direct debit.
The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) also enables you to claim on small cash donations of up to £30 where it is difficult to obtain a Gift Aid declaration – meaning you can even claim on loose offerings and donations in non Gift Aid envelopes.
Gift Aid Secretaries are responsible for encouraging tax-effective giving, ensuring accurate records are kept and submitting regular claims to HMRC - therefore, it's important that they keep up to date with HMRC requirements.
Parish Giving Scheme
At the Diocesan Synod in November 2021 it was agreed that the Diocese of Canterbury would join the Parish Giving Scheme (PGS), which the majority of other Dioceses have already joined. PGS is an independent charity which operates within the legal framework of a Joint Venture Company co-owned by participating dioceses. The scheme operates a secure and effective service for managing Direct Debit donations from individuals to their churches.
We believe that the communication around the rollout of PGS will encourage those not already donating regularly through automatic bank payments to consider doing so. Also, we hope that PGS will encourage our regular givers to consider keeping the value of their donation the same - in real terms - by an uplift each year in line with inflation, while always having the option to opt out of that uplift.
The scheme should ease the administrative burden for Gift Aid Secretaries, Treasurers and also the Gift Aid Team in Diocesan House, as payments will be collected by PGS and the parishes will receive one monthly payment of all donations and regular payment gift aid received from HMRC. Along with the payments, PGS will provide easy access to a breakdown of the donations and gift aid received. The precious time we are all given back through using this scheme can then be focused on supporting our parishes on other matters we know require attention. The Diocese will pay a monthly contribution to the scheme, so there is no direct charge to the parishes.
Further information can be found on our Diocesan webpage Parish Giving Scheme, where you will be able to read the Guide for PCCs and the Guide for Givers. There is also the Parish Giving Scheme website, where you will find the history of the scheme About us - Parish Giving Scheme and case studies from other Dioceses that have joined PGS - Dioceses
Registering with HMRC
Claiming Gift Aid direct through HMRC can sound daunting, but be assured there are already parishes who claim Gift Aid direct from HMRC and they have said that they do not find this a particularly difficult task. We do believe that once you have registered and made your first claim you will find that it is not too complicated and it gives you more control over your cash flow.
Gift Aid is a scheme to support charities and HMRC’s focus is to provide this support. They understand that charities (especially PCCs) are often run by volunteers who may not have much formal accounting or administrative expertise. The HMRC Charities helpline: 0300 123 1073.
- Step by step guide to registering with HMRC
- Introduction to registering as a charity with HMRC and making claims
- Gift Aid Guide
- Monthly sheet (Word format)
- Monthly sheet (PDF format)
- Monthly sheet (Excel format)
- Sample completed monthly sheet
- Gift Aid Declaration
- Gift Aid Declaration with standing order mandate
- Gift Aid Declaration with standing order mandate (variable frequency)
- HMRC Gift Aid Declaration checklist
- Sponsorship and Gift Aid declaration form
- Annual reminder slips
Compliance Checks for Gift Aid Procedures
Gift Aid Secretaries are required to attend compliance checks for gift aid procedures at least once every three years. These are held around the diocese throughout the year.
Prior to 2018 the Diocesan Accounts team visited every parish to carry out compliance checks for gift aid procedures. However, from 2018 onwards we are carrying out these checks in locations around the diocese to enable more than one Gift Aid Secretary to attend at one time. There are 30 events around the diocese running over a 12 month period and are on a variety of days and times.
A week or so before your event, we will contact you and specify which recent claim of yours we want to look at. You will then need to bring the paperwork relating to that claim. If you have essential data stored electronically that is impractical to print then please email a copy to us. Examples of the paperwork we need are:
- Bank statements
- Weekly counting sheets
- Freewill offering envelopes
- Any other documents used in preparing the specified claim
The plan for each event is to do the necessary specific checks and to share best practices. How exactly this will work out will depend on the number attending and will develop over time.
Dates, venues and times for upcoming events will be posted to this page as soon as they become available.
Need more support? Get in touch
Our Finance Team are here to help with your queries. For all Gift Aid enquiries, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Vicky Alford and Louise Mills on 01227 459401.