Easy ways to collect HMRC Gift Aid Declarations
You want to claim an additional 25% on the donations you receive but you don’t have a Gift Aid declaration from everyone. What should you do?
The more forms you get from donors, the more you can claim. It doesn’t need to be a slog. In fact, it can be super straightforward.
In this blog we’re going to outline 5 ways to get HMRC Gift Aid declaration forms, from sending out PDF’s to using a web service. You can use each option exclusively or alongside your existing systems or processes. Choose the solution that is easiest for you and you could receive some additional funding with just a little effort.
For ideas to maximise the amount you can claim, see the sister piece to this blog, Charity Fundraising, Squeezing the Gift Aid Lemon.
Free online Gift Aid form
If you have already decided you want to use an online form, click the button below to set one up in minutes using Groupsends specialist forms.
- Send out a link to your donors on email (or post it on your website or Facebook)
- Donors complete the online form on their computer, phone or iPad
- You get a notification when forms are completed or changed – or you can download a full report.
Donors can amend forms in accordance with GDPR.
It takes around 2 minutes to subscribe for free and to create a form.
Alternatively, read this blog to look discover the other options available.
Before we start, I want to be clear that this blog is about getting the donor declarations. It is not about the “claims process” which is often managed by whoever does your accounts.
Maybe you are just starting out with Gift Aid, or maybe you have a system in place but have some holes in it and need a neat way to complete some missing declarations, there are a number of options available to you.
Now, I have a question for you? How many of you have made a Gift Aid Claim before? If you have let me know in the comments below. It helps me target future changes to this blog. Whether you have or have not done it before, I’m going to share some new ways of managing declarations that could make things much easier and more organised.
The Gift Aid scheme
Gift Aid started nearly 30 years ago and is offered by the government to incentivise people to donate to registered charities and community sports clubs. So, if you have donors who are UK taxpayers and pay enough tax to cover the donations, you can claim an additional 25% (that’s 20% of the gross value of the donation, Wikipedia gives a good explanation of how this works and includes some examples). Full official details can be found on the HMRC website.
What is a Gift Aid Declaration form?
Donors need to declare that they are a UK taxpayer and give consent for you to make a claim in their donation. It is not required to be physically signed. You do need good records of your donor declarations to go on and make a claim. The form itself is quite straightforward. You can ask donors to declare that your organisation can claim Gift Aid on…
- a current donation,
- all their donations going back 4 years,
- all their future donations.
Being able to claim on historical donations can be a good source of income if you have not kept up with your Gift Aid claims.
Asking donors to permit Gift Aid for all future donations is a great way of saving admin in the long run. It’s not a difficult process but you need to find a way to keep good records and adhere to all the guidelines. Some methods are much easier than others.
What needs to be on a declaration form
Alongside the declaration statement, the HMRC need to know the full name and the address of each donor. GDPR privacy regulations require that you allow people to be able to withdraw, amend and review their consent at any time. This is especially important for when people’s circumstances change (see below).
HMRC provide printable templates for the forms but, as we’ll see, these can be a little arduous to administer and off-putting for the recipient who needs to print, fill and return the form to you. Even so, it’s easy to understand what to do. In years past a signature was needed, but the new forms do not require that.
Don’t forget, people’s circumstances change
To claim Gift Aid your donor must be a UK taxpayer. It doesn’t just benefit your organisation, donors can claim tax back on the money they give and for some people that can be over 30% of what they have donated! However, the trend is for tax rules to change and for more people to come out of paying tax all together. So, for those who complete forms for future donations, you must have a method for people to be able to review their forms and withdraw them if necessary. You should have an easy way to reconfirm everyone is still a taxpayer to avoid any mishaps with your claim.
Sounds a lot? Well, read below. There are some super simple methods of doing all of this very simply.
Different methods to consider
So here are the options, if you know of others, leave them in the comments below and I’ll review and add them to this blog.
Method 1 – Use the standard HMRC Charities and CASC: Gift Aid declaration forms
You can download PDF forms, and give/email them to your donors.
This is a very simple approach but as mentioned before, your donors will need to print, complete and return. You will need to maintain a list of all declarations as they are completed and arrange reminders. Keep copies of all the forms, both returned by email and paper copies which perhaps you should scan. Don’t forget to check the existence of a current Gift Aid form as repeat donations come in.
When it comes to completing the HMRC claim, you will need to have the supporting declaration forms to hand.
Method 2 – Add the forms to your website
There are many ways of adding forms to your website. When thinking this through take care to have processes for donors to be able to resubmit and withdraw forms. The declaration must contain all the elements outlined on the HMRC website. Think through the type of reports you will need, or just get the form contents emailed to you and keep a record as you would with method one. There are plenty of webform services you can use that will make this easier to achieve.
Method 3 – Use an agent
In recent years there has been a rise in charitable collection websites like JustGiving and GoFundMe. These are great and often worth the fees. But they can’t cover past donations and you will need a separate process if you also receive funds via other routes.
Most of them will give donors the option of making an HMRC Gift Aid declaration at the time of donation and some will even claim the Gift Aid back for you… Be sure to check charges, commissions and the process.
The “PayPal Giving Fund” is another great service if your organisation and your donors have accounts. They have a built in declaration feature too and there are no hidden charges.
There are also agents and freelancers who will help you file the actual claim with HMRC. Freelancers can be especially useful for helping follow-up declarations too and can adapt to your processes.
Method 4 – Use an online form builder
There are gazillions of these. JotForm and CognitoForms to name but two. Create your own form you can send in an email. Be sure to include all the necessary elements and create the processes you need to allow donors to make changes and for you to keep proper records.
Method 5 – Use a specialist online service
And finally, there are dedicated online forms that will…
- produce an email you can send,
- allow users to complete quickly online on their phone or computer,
- and will give options for re-submitting, updating and keeping you notified.
Because they are built with Gift Aid claims in mind, they produce the reports you need in a clear, useable format.
Of course, you are on GroupSend’s blog and this is one of the forms we offer 🙂 Groupsend Gift Aid forms are free and you can set up in minutes. Email your donors with the link. When you are ready to make your claim, you will have most of the information you need to cross check forms with your donation income. You can create as many forms as you need… perhaps different ones for different projects if you work that way, or just a single form for everything.
Check out this simple video and decide for yourself.
Gift Aid is a fantastic way of topping up your organisation’s income.
If you need something more user-friendly than PDF forms, or receive donations from places other than JustGiving and similar agents type services, then use an online service that is focused on making Gift Aid simple for the donors and for you (the 5th option on our list). Check the fees and ensure they are super low.
To be effective and maximise the amount you claim, use the simplest method that works for your organisation. Too much admin and you will miss claim forms which could turn into money.
Once you get started, collecting a Gift Aid declaration from each donor will become second nature and the claim process will be that much easier. Make the most of Gift Aid and keep doing great work for your community.
Which method will you choose?