HMRC Charities has updated the guidance on Gift Aid declarations and provided three new model declarations. There is also a new checklist of the minimum information that must be included in a declaration, if a charity decides to create and use its own declaration form.
These change the ‘tax to cover’ wording and make it clear that taxes such as VAT and council tax do not qualify. The new ‘tax to cover’ wording takes effect from 24th February 2012.
The revised guidance makes clearer exactly what a declaration should include. If, after reading the guidance, charities find their declarations need to change, they should make those changes as soon as possible.
HMRC has also corrected previous guidance to make it clear that declarations must be retained for six, rather than four years.
If records for this period have been destroyed based on previous guidance, HMRC will not penalise charities for not having the full six years’ worth of records, if they ask to see them.
As a minimum, all Gift Aid declarations your charity or CASC receives must contain the following information:
• the name of your charity or CASC
• the donor's name - as a minimum the initial of the first name and the last name in full
• the donor's home address - as a minimum the house number/name and postcode
• whether the declaration covers only the present donation or past and/or future donations as well
• a statement or verbal confirmation by the donor that Gift Aid is to apply - on a written form or on a website, a tick box is sufficient
• confirmation the donor has been given an explanation that they must pay at least as much UK income tax and/or capital gains tax (for the year of the donation) as the amount that will be claimed by your charity or CASC and any other charities and CASCs they donate to.
• HMRC has produced a checklist which shows all the information you need to include in your charity’s Gift Aid declarations on one page.
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