Concerned about online claiming? Would you welcome extra support?
The Diocese of Liverpool is one of the few dioceses that offers all parishes the option of joining the Diocesan Gift Aid Scheme to help and simplify their own local administration. For a small charge of just 5% of the tax reclaim parishes can rest easy knowing that our Gift Aid officer, Kim Stanley, is ensuring the accuracy of all claims and that all current compliance requirements are being observed. The advantages of the Diocesan Scheme are many:
High Standard of Service
Starting with covenants the Scheme has run for more than 30 years and assists some 90 parishes and schools to make claims worth over £400,000. The scheme makes claiming easier and accurate, often spotting minor errors or picking up problems before they become problems. The standard of service is extremely high and the advice is up to the minute accurate.
All Gift Aid Declaration forms are provided with the correct wording - and we regularly see examples of incorrect wording which can negate a claim so this is no trivial matter. Declarations must be kept for at least 6 years after the final claim on the Declaration. Under the Scheme all Declarations are checked by the Diocesan Gift Aid Officer and are filed centrally so that these important documents are not mislaid on Gift Aid Secretary changeover or resignation, and are available if ever required for inspection by HMRC Charities.
Preparation of claims
Claim forms for both Gift Aid and the new Small Donations Scheme are prepared ready for online claiming; all that is required is the authorising signature from the Gift Aid Secretary. Parishes are reminded when claims are outstanding. The diocese makes the claim to HMRC and will deal with any initial queries from HMRC Charities concerning the claim and the money is paid direct to the parish (where BACs payments are enabled).
Gift Aid Secretary support
The Diocesan Gift Aid Officer and Resources Officers deal with detailed queries from Gift Aid Secretaries, offering advice on a day to day basis. Parishes on the Scheme benefit from the extra knowledge on the Gift Aid claim history of their own parish. Any change of Gift Aid Secretary for parishes within the Scheme is picked up (we are not always notified in non Scheme parishes) and the required HMRC Change of Details Form is prepared ready for signing. Training for these new Gift Aid Secretaries is then provided if required.
Once in the Scheme, this provides continuity when personnel within the parish change. The Diocesan Gift Aid Officer will have some knowledge of the claim history within a parish.
All parishes on the Scheme may be audited every 4 years or so, more regularly if they wish, to ensure that the procedures in the parish meet HMRC Charities requirements. Parishes find this a reassuring exercise, and we are able to offer advice, where necessary, on improving the parish’s own Gift Aid Scheme. All new parishes joining the scheme are offered an initial diocesan audit to ensure that all internal processes comply with current HMRC requirements.
The charge for all the above services is 5% of the tax actually claimed under Gift Aid or Small Donations Scheme. Where no tax is claimed, no charge is made.
To join the Diocesan Scheme, or to find out whether your parish is already on the Diocesan Scheme, please contact the Gift Aid Officer or the Resources Team at St James' House (see contact details on the right).