The donor must make a Gift Aid declaration to the charity relating to the gift. The declaration can be given in writing or orally, by means including electronic communications such as the Internet, e-mail, mobile telephone and text message. The declaration can be given at the time when the donation is made, in advance of making the donation or within four years of having made the gift.
The declaration must provide the following:
Charities must explain that if the donor pays less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all that person’s donations it is the donor’s responsibility to pay any difference. The charity can choose to put this tax explanation on the Gift Aid declaration or omit it. If it is omitted then the charity must ensure that it explains the donor’s tax obligations clearly to its donors and is able to demonstrate to HMRC that it has done so.
There is no requirement for a Gift Aid declaration to be signed.
It is permissible for spouses and persons living together to make a joint declaration on the same form providing that full details of both parties are given.
The HMRC website contains model Gift Aid declarations for single and multiple gifts and the wording for sponsored events. The content of declarations was simplified in October 2015. Charities holding stocks of printed materials using the previous model declaration may continue to use these until 5 April 2016, after which the new Declaration must be used. Note, however, that charities, churches, cathedrals, parishes and the like can use up their current stock of pre-printed Gift Aid collection envelopes beyond April 2016.
Business partnerships in England, Wales and Northern Ireland do not have a legal identity for tax purposes, so a donation by such a partnership is treated as made by the individual partners. Up to and including 5 April 2016, a Gift Aid declaration can be made by one partner on behalf of all. From that date it will be necessary for each partner to make an individual Gift Aid declaration. The amount of each partner’s share should be specified in the declarations or supporting documents.
The donor must make a payment by cash, cheque, direct debit, credit or debit card, postal order or standing order. Gift Aid Donations can be made in sterling or any foreign currency. When calculating claims the charity must convert foreign currency into sterling at the rate on the date on which the donation was made. Gift Aid cannot apply to a transfer of assets, a donation in kind or to a loan write-off.