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GASDS: Claim Gift Aid on small donations

Originally Published: January 2017 | Last reviewed: June 2018

Gift Aid is a valuable source of extra revenue as it allows charities and community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) in the UK to claim an extra 25p for every pound donated by taxpayers — at no cost to the organisation or the individual. This is a government tax relief scheme and certain conditions apply.

The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) allows charities and CASCs to claim Gift Aid on cash and contactless card donations that are £20 or less — even without a Gift Aid declaration by the donor. The donations must be made in cash or via contactless after 6 April 2017, but bills or coins may be in any currency.

How much can be claimed?

GASDS allows claims up to:

  • £2,000 in a tax year, which is £8,000 worth of donations (the tax year is from 6 April to 5 April)
  • £1,250 in a tax year, which is £5,000 worth of donations, for years preceding 6 April 2016

Who's eligible to make a claim?

In order to claim GASDS, your charity or CASC must meet certain criteria. For example, you must have claimed regular Gift Aid:

  • In the same tax year you want to claim GASDS
  • In at least two of the last four tax years (although there can't be a two-year gap between the claims)
  • Without receiving a penalty from HMRC in the last two tax years

What are the limitations?

You can't claim GASDS if it's more than 10 times your Gift Aid claim. For example, if you've received £100 of Gift Aid donations in the same tax year, you can't claim more than £1,000 worth of donations through GASDS.

In addition, you can only claim on cash donations that have been both collected and banked in the UK after 6 April 2013.

Claims can't be made on:

  • Membership fees
  • A £20 portion of a larger gift
  • Any donations made with a Gift Aid declaration

If your collection takes place in a community building — such as a place of worship or community hall — then you may be able to claim more. The caveat is that there must have been at least 10 people present at the collection and the community building must be open to the public. Since 6 April 2017 this has been extended to include donations made in the same council area as the community building.

Can we claim GASDS if we're connected to another charity or CASC?

If you're connected to another charity or CASC, you can claim GASDS if you share the £8,000 limit on donations equally (£5,000 for claims before 6 April 2016). All charities involved will need to write to HMRC to confirm the arrangement.

Has your charity merged? You may be eligible to take on the other charity's record of good claims. Visit GOV.UK for details.

Do we need to keep records?

Records relating to GASDS claims must be kept for six years from the end of the tax year to which they relate. Ideally, two people should check and count the cash collection.

You'll need to record:

  • The total amount of cash collected
  • The date the collection took place
  • The date the collection amount was paid into a bank account

For community building collections, you'll also need to record:

  • The address of the place you collected the donations, including the postcode
  • The type of event
  • The number of events held
  • An estimate of how many people attended
  • When you collected the donations

How do we make a claim through GASDS?

As with Gift Aid, GASDS may be claimed through Charities Online with either a spreadsheet of your claims or with eligible software. Claims of more than 1,000 donations must be done with eligible software. To claim by post, use form ChR1 — which you can get from the Charities Helpline.

GASDS claims must be submitted within two years of the end of the tax year in which the donations were collected.

This article draws on the expertise of Andy Nash Accounting & Consultancy. Based in Cardiff, Wales, the firm offers specialised accounting and financial consultancy services to small and medium sized nonprofits.

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