Gift Aid And Charities Online

Gift Aid And Charities Online

Option 1: Claim using an HMRC Online Services form
This is the normal option HMRC will expect charities to adopt. A claim is to have up to 1,000 Gift Aid donors, but there is no limit to the number of claims a charity may submit.

First of all, a charity needs to sign up to use the HMRC online services by creating a Government gateway account, if it hasn’t already done so for instance to submit VAT returns. It then needs to enrol for ‘Charities Online’, on the ‘Your HMRC services’ page.

When completing the online form, an HMRC spreadsheet schedule needs to be attached with details of the donations. The charity therefore needs to download and complete this beforehand. The charity may not attach an alternative schedule.

The Gift Aid donations schedule: the schedule is downloaded from the HMRC Charities Online website, in either Excel or Libre Office, and must be saved in ODS format. For each claim, the earliest donation date needs to be given and if Gift Aid has been over-claimed previously, the amount of that. Then on each row, a donor’s name is to be given and address. If the postcode is not known, this box can be left until April 2014 but then as much of the address as possible is to be given in the ‘House name or number’ box.

Donations by a single donor can be added together on a single row. If that is done, in the ‘Donation date’ box put the date of the last donation and in the ‘Amount’ box the total. If the donations however straddle the charity’s accounting periods, that is, when the accounts are prepared, separate rows need to be used for the different accounting periods.

The ‘aggregated donations’ box can be used for Gift Aid donations of £20 or less from different donors, which can be aggregated together up to £1,000, with the total put into the amount box and a description, such as ‘April donations’ or ‘Thursday club donors’, written in the aggregated donations box. For these donations, you do not enter the name and address of the donors.

Gift Aided donations from a sponsored event which are individually under £500 can also be totalled up, with a yes under ‘Sponsored event’, the name and address of the participant in the event rather than a donor’s details, and the total under ‘Amount’. Gift Aided donations over £500 from a sponsored event need to be treated as normal Gift Aid donations.

On the same online form, a claim can be made for donations under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) and also for tax deducted on other income, such as bank interest and legacies. For other income, a spreadsheet needs to be downloaded and completed.

To claim under GASDS (we have a separate paper on GASDS), you will be asked to enter the total amount and make a declaration. If the charity is connected to other charities, by having substantially similar purposes/activities and being controlled by the same persons, this may reduce the core GASDS the charity can claim.

If the charity is claiming under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) and wants to claim more because it uses ‘community buildings’ (see our further paper), a separate spreadsheet needs to be downloaded from HMRC Charities Online and completed.


Later on the Online form, you will be asked if you are a corporate trustee. In most cases, the answer is no. Organisations that are executors or trustees of a charitable trust should answer yes.

At the end of the form, a declaration needs to be made that you understand the statements to be true.


Option 2: Claim through your own database

This option is intended for larger charities, who would wish to file Gift Aid claims with more than 1,000 donors. It can also, however, be used to make smaller claims, and some smaller charities may find this option easier in the longer run. It requires dedicated software, of which HMRC has a list of commercial suppliers, such as ‘Data Developments’.

Option 3: Claim using a paper form
This option is intended for those who do not have access to the internet. A new paper repayment claim form, called ChR1, will replace the previous R68 form.

Charities who wish to use this option would order the ChR1 forms by contacting the HMRC Charities helpline (currently on 0845 302 0203), complete the form and return it by post. Photocopied ChR1 forms will not be accepted.