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Online Gift Aid claims available from April

Online Gift Aid claims available from April

From 22 April 2013 charities will be able to register to make Gift Aid repayment claims online. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is writing to 110,000 charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) to let them know of the new service, which is designed to make the reclaim process faster and easier for charities.

The new service is called Charities Online, and HMRC has published ./guidance on how to use it.

Sajid Javid, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: "Charities Online is a significant step towards reducing the administrative burdens that can be a weight on charities. Claims will be processed more quickly, as well as saving on postal costs and delays. The service will be more accurate, with built-in checks."

Three options to make claims

From April HMRC will offer three methods in which charities can make Gift Aid reclaims.

  • claim using an online form: the "best for those who normally file Gift Aid claims for fewer than 1,000 donors"
  • claim through your own database: for those "who file Gift Aid claims for more than 1,000 donors"
  • claim using a paper form: "for those who don't have access to the internet".

More donor data to submit

The new system involves changes to the information on donors that charities must submit in their claims. 

HMRC recommends that "providing the donor's house name or number and the postcode is the quickest and easiest way of providing the donor's address". However, it recognises that some charities will not have the postcode of all donors and that some donors live abroad. It has introduced transitional arrangements to handle these issues.

How to register for Charities Online

HMRC will publish information on its website in March 2013 on how to sign up and use Charities Online.

Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme

Charities Online will be introduced in the same month as the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS). This will allow charities and CASCs to claim top-up payments on cash donations of £20 or less without the need to collect Gift Aid declarations. Charities will generally be able to claim payments on small donations of up to £5,000 each year.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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