The Small Charitable Donations Act 2012 will come into force on 6 April 2013. The Act introduces a scheme allowing charities to claim Gift Aid type payments on small cash donations without a Gift Aid declaration from the donor.
HMRC has also changed the rules on Gift Aid declarations to simplify Gift Aid claims on donations made to charity shops. The new rules allow individuals who donate goods to a charity shop to make a one-off Gift Aid declaration. This declaration will cover all donations he or she makes in the relevant tax year up to a fixed level of sale proceeds. This maximum level is currently set at £1,000 for charities which operate their shops through trading subsidiaries and £100 for charities which run their shops themselves.
From this April charities will have to use a new online system to make Gift Aid claims from HMRC. This online system will replace the current R68(i) paper form. However, if a charity does not have online access, it will still be able to make a repayment claim using a ChR1 paper form. Charities which make large Gift Aid claims will be able to make repayment claims using external software. HMRC has published guidance on the new online system. There are some concerns in the charity sector that the IT system will not be able to cope adequately with the repayments.
If you would like any information on claiming Gift Aid, please contact John Devine on 0191 211 7905.