Gift Aid on donations received via Facebook

Facebook Donate allows people to donate directly on social media pages through donate buttons inserted into page headers or posts, such as videos, photos or text.

Gift Aid is in theory possible for eligible donations – see more here in the FAQs. However, we are aware that the quality of data provided by Facebook, particularly when the scheme was first launched, was not always as good quality as charities had hoped.

As a result, there had initially been some uncertainty as to whether HMRC would accept Gift Aid claims on donations received via Facebook. CTG has been seeking clarification from HMRC officials who have told us:

“HMRC accepts that donations received via Facebook are eligible for Gift Aid purposes. However, should a charity choose to claim Gift Aid on a donation received via Facebook, the charity must be able to provide HMRC with all the information that it requires to satisfy a Gift Aid audit. If the charity does not feel that it can satisfy the requirements of a Gift Aid audit, from the information it will receive from Facebook, it should not claim Gift Aid on donations received from Facebook.”

CTG does not feel that this is clear enough and have asked for more information as follows:

“As you know an HMRC Gift Aid audit focuses on being able to prove (a) that cash has been received in respect of the donation on which Gift Aid is claimed and that (b) the charity can confirm that a valid Gift Aid declaration has been made. As Facebook captures the Gift Aid declarations and passes the details of which donations are eligible for Gift Aid on to the charity, the charity would be dependent on Facebook being able to confirm to HMRC’s satisfaction that a valid Gift Aid claim had been made. Your clarification of what HMRC would expect in these circumstances would be appreciated.”

CTG continues to press HMRC for clarification of how charities can claim Gift Aid on Facebook Donate donations in a way that will satisfy an HMRC Gift Aid audit inspection. As soon as this is clarified we will make a further announcement.

Update: CTG has been working to facilitate a meeting between Facebook and HMRC to resolve this issue. This meeting is now due to take place shortly.