Alerts from HMRC

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Changes to Gift Aid Declaration wording - October 2015
In October 2015, HMRC announced changes to the text of the Gift Aid Declaration.  

So from 6th April 2016 you must use the new wording for any Gift Aid Declaration. If you don't, your Gift Aid claim may be invalid.

You can use the new wording straight away which we would see as good practice.  New HMRC approved Gift Aid Declaration templates can be downloaded from the panel on the right.

You don't need to ask people who already have an existing Gift Aid declaration to complete a new one. However, you must make sure that any new declarations are on forms with revised wording.

The new "tax warning" is:

I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year it is my responsibility to pay any difference.

The aim of the new Declaration is to encourage donors to donate under Gift Aid by simplifying the wording but still making it clear to donors that that they should have paid sufficient tax to cover all the donations which they Gift Aid. This responsibility for the donor to pay any difference if they've paid insufficient tax hasn't changed - this has always been the case (see old tax warning below).  Indeed charities are required to remind donors regularly of this requirement.

As a concession, HMRC have agreed that if you have stocks of pre-printed Gift Aid Declaration envelopes from envelope suppliers purchased before 21 October 2015, you may use these until stocks run out.  We would encourage you to move to the new Declarations as soon as possible.

Parishes on the Diocesan Gift Aid Scheme will be provided with new Declarations with the January mailing. If you'd like a supply before then please get in contact with Kim Stanley (contact details on the right).

Please see links on the right for new Gift Aid Declaration templates.  Watch out for the Stewardship Matters bulletin for other Gift Aid news.
Changes to Gift Aid Declaration wording - 2012
The guidance on Gift Aid declarations was previously updated in 2012, and was reflected in the HMRC model Gift Aid declarations. Now it has always been the case that donors should have paid sufficient tax to cover all their Gift Aided donations, not just those to a particular charity. The updated tax warning stated this more explicitly and the following text should be in place on all your declarations signed after 31st December 2012:

I confirm I have paid or will pay an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for each tax year (6 April to 5 April) that is at least equal to the amount of tax that all the charities or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) that I donate to will reclaim on my gifts for that tax year. I understand that other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify. I understand the charity will reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 that I give.
  • Your old stocks of blank declarations should now have been discarded. 
  • HMRC will not accept claims made on declarations using the old wording signed after 31 December 2012.
  • You do not need to get replacements for existing completed enduring declarations.
  • Parishes on the Diocesan Gift Aid Scheme were provided with new approved declarations.
  • Parishes not on the Diocesan Gift Aid Scheme will need to ensure they have replaced their old stock with new compliant Declarations.
  • Don’t forget to check declarations on websites.
Please note: HMRC's original exception for single donation Declaration Envelopes from envelope suppliers which were printed before 31 December 2012 no longer applied from December 2014.  The exception never applied to those printed with incorrect wording from 2013 onwards. The new tax warning must be used on ALL declarations.

For further details on this, please see the HMRC website or the national church guidance.
Changes to record retention period
When the time limits for making claims changed from 6 to 4 years, HMRC amended their guidance stating that this 4 year time limit also applied to the keeping of records. HMRC later admitted this was an error, and the guidance should not have changed – records should be kept for 6 years.

What does this mean in practical terms?
  • If you have destroyed records based on the erroneous guidance, then HMRC will not penalise you for not having 6 years of records, if they ask to see them.
  • However, you must ensure that you keep all records from the date of this clarification (2012) onwards for 6 years.