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Gift Aid

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What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid Lite

Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme

User Guides


What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid enables charities to claim an extra 25p for every £1 donated by individuals at no extra cost to themselves.

A donor needs to make a Gift Aid declaration to enable your church to claim and your church needs to be registered with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The Government offers us two schemes to help charities maximise their income. The Gift Aid scheme we are familiar with. The newer, Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme (GASDS) is a Government spending measure rather than a tax relief.

To join, please complete the application form after PCC approval has been given.

Parishes are encouraged to join the Gift Aid Lite scheme which is approved by HMRC and provides administration and claiming of donations received by Gift Aid and GASDS. This is a free service to all churches in the Diocese of Manchester using a web-based donations management software programme. The diocese provides and supports the programme and pays the monthly licence fee. 

Manchester Diocese also operates an Audit Inspection Scheme in liaison with the HMRC, as well as providing training, assistance and updates for Gift Aid secretaries and treasurers. Our aim is to keep your church up to date with its Gift Aid claims, with our help and support.

For help, further information or to join the scheme, please contact the Gift Aid Team.

Gift Aid Lite

Gift Aid Lite is a free service that assists churches with the administration and accuracy of their Gift Aid schemes and the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS). Manchester is committed to assisting churches with the claiming scheme, the audit programme and technical support.

Approximately 200 churches/parishes in the diocese are registered with the Gift Aid Lite scheme, ranging from the largest parishes with high tax claims to the smaller schemes with just a few gift aid declarations.

While we don’t assist with recording the donations and obtaining new declarations, our quarterly claims service does offer help and assists with cash flow. Our software provider, Data Developments, can also assist in this area.

Churches can join the scheme at any stage during the tax year. A visit to the parish will be made prior to processing the first claim, to check the accuracy of recording systems, provide any training necessary and explore maximising potential. Back claims, where necessary, will also be dealt with during this visit.

Upon joining, we take over the responsibility of creating claims and become the official contact for this task with the HMRC. Currently, every quarter, the Gift Aid Secretary will be sent a ‘Donations Due’ report, a sheet listing any one-off envelope claims held on the computer awaiting claiming, and the quarterly Gift Aid Update.

Benefits of Gift Aid Lite

  • Far fewer churches within the Gift Aid Lite scheme encounter problems with a Gift Aid audit than those completing their own claims.
  • All donations, whether given by planned giving envelope, standing order, cheque or one-off envelope, are traceable in records by name, date and amount.
  • Advice and support is always available, with a Quarterly claim service to assist cash flow
  • Upon joining Gift Aid Lite, the office deals with official contact with HMRC, ensuring legislation always followed.
  • Transferring your existing records to the Diocesan Board of Finance scheme is easy to do and simply requires written authority from the PCC.
  • The system is backed up daily to avoid potential problems, with secure storage for declarations and claim copies.
  • Annual donor totals provided for acknowledgement letters to be sent out.

What does my church have to do?

Forward Gift Aid Declarations and one-off envelopes to us for registration when received.

Confirm quarterly – actual amounts paid by donors, either by post or electronically

Important information

  • Although the DBF has the authority to process claims on a church's behalf, the church remains liable for accurate audit trails and any inaccurate claims.
  • The 'Gift Aid Lite' Scheme provides a free quarterly service to churches that pay their Parish Share in full by Standing Order, or to those who give the diocese the authority to transfer any tax recovered on Gift Aid directly to their Parish Share account. Parishes will be advised of the amount credited if the latter option is taken and Treasurers are required to make a contra entry showing both the tax received and a payment to Parish Share. The Diocesan Board of Finance prepares all tax forms from the figures and totals provided by the parish. Once inputted and balanced to the total advised, the claims are submitted to HMRC.
  • Adequate records must be maintained by the church, e.g. all giving is to be well documented and an accurate audit trail for Gift Aid donations available.
  • Gift Aid Declarations are still made out in favour of the appropriate church and the Diocesan Board of Finance is given written authority to process claims. New declarations and one-off Envelopes should be sent to the office as soon as possible after completion; it is good policy to take a copy of these before posting.  Gift Aid Declarations are free of charge.
  • Support and guidance is available. A regular programme of internal audit inspections is carried out to identify any possible problems. Assistance can be given in the setting up of a new scheme.
  • Gift Aid Lite ensures you are kept completely up to date with any new developments; aids accurate claims; and provides continuity and training to new Gift Aid Secretaries. Many churches would benefit from the assistance and re-asreassurance this scheme provides.

Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme (GASDS)

The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) is intended to deal with small cash donations without the need for declarations. It should be viewed as complimentary to and not replacing the need for Gift Aid.

This scheme enables churches to claim back tax on loose cash donations without the need for any signed declaration from a donor. The scheme is subject to various conditions but does increase your income.

The Small Donation Scheme can currently be used to claim tax relief on up to £8000 of donations per year (a maximum of £2000 tax relief). There are specific requirements for recording and vestry/cash sheets must be completed. It is essential to keep accurate audit trails.

The way claims are made and what can be claimed varies depending on whether you are a single church or have multiple churches. Appropriate tracker sheets are available to keep track of donations in your particular context. Please see the appropriate guidance below.

Gift Aid Lite User Guides


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