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HRMC Gift Aid guidance updated

HMRC has updated the Chapter 3 Gift Aid guidance to include requirements relevant to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Gift Aid declarations

A charity may want to add more information and notes of its own on a declaration form, for example the inclusion of any General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that the charity feels is needed. HMRC has no objection to this or to the inclusion of a declaration in other documents, such as standing order mandates, provided the statutory requirements for a Gift Aid declaration are met.

Recording and audit of Gift Aid declarations:

HMRC is required to ensure that any tax repaid to a charity is properly due and correctly calculated. HMRC does this by carrying out inspections to check that Gift Aid claims are made for the correct amounts and are backed by valid Gift Aid declarations and clear audit trails for the donations received. Section 3.7.2 will tell a charity how to be to be compliant for Gift Aid audit purposes. In addition to this, a charity should also be mindful of any GDPR obligations.

The declaration should show:

  • the donor’s full name – as a minimum HMRC will accept the donor’s initial and surname
  • the donor’s full home postal address – as a minimum HMRC will accept the number (or name as appropriate) of their home and their full postcode

If HMRC finds the details on a declaration are not enough to trace the donor, they may ask the charity to get more information to check the claim. If the charity fails to get this information, it’s likely that the declaration will be considered invalid.

If a donor changes their name or address, this will not invalidate the declaration. If the charity is notified of a change in the donor’s name or address, it must keep a record of the updated information – this can be kept as an electronic copy such as a scanned document. The declaration itself does not need to be amended, but a record of the change should be kept on the charity’s database.

Read HMRC - Charities guidance notes on how the tax system operates Chapter 3: Gift Aid