21st June 2020

Small donations scheme

You may be able to claim 25% on:

  • cash donations of £30 or less
  • contactless card donations of £30 or less collected on or after 6 April 2019

This is called the Gift Aid small donations scheme (GASDS). You do not need a Gift Aid declaration to claim.

From 6 April 2016, you can claim up to £2,000 in a tax year or £1,250 for earlier years.

Who can claim

Your charity or community amateur sports club must have claimed Gift Aid:

  • in the same tax year as you want to claim Gift Aid small donations scheme
  • without getting a penalty in the last 2 tax years
  • in at least 2 of the last 4 tax years (without a 2-year gap between claims) if you’re claiming on donations made before 6 April 2017

What you can claim

Your Gift Aid small donations scheme claim cannot be more than 10 times your Gift Aid claim. For example, you can claim on £1,000 worth of donations through Gift Aid small donations scheme if you’ve received £100 of Gift Aid donations in the same tax year.

You can claim on donations that are eligible for Gift Aid, but not membership fees.

Collections in community buildings

If your charity has a community building (for example a village hall or religious building) you might be able to claim more on donations collected either:

  • in your community building
  • in the same council area as your community building, if you collected the donations on or after 6 April 2017

For somewhere to count as your community building, you need to have hosted at least 6 charity events there. The events must have all been attended by at least 10 people.

If your organisation is connected to another charity or community amateur sports club

If one of the charities has a community building, all of the connected charities can either:

  • claim as if they had a community building
  • share a single £8,000 limit – all the charities will need to write to HMRC to do this

If none of the charities have a community building, or you’re claiming for donations made before 6 April 2017, the connected charities must share a single £8,000 limit.

If your charity has merged with another charity or community amateur sports club you may be able to take on the other charity’s record of good claims.

Keeping records

You need to record the:

  • total cash donations collected
  • date of the collection
  • date it was paid into a bank account

You’ll need to keep records of any contactless card donations that you’ve taken, for example receipts from your card machine.

For collections in community buildings you’ll also need to record:

  • the address of the place you collected the donations (including postcode)
  • the type of event
  • the number of events you held
  • an estimate of how many people were at the event
  • when you collected the donations

How to Claim

Claim under Gift Aid small donations scheme in the same way as Gift Aid.

You can claim Gift Aid using Charities Online with:

  • eligible software, like a database
  • a spreadsheet of your donations, click here to download one

For claims of over 1,000 donations you must use software.

To apply by post use form ChR1, which you can get from the charities helpline.

When you must claim

Your deadline to claim Gift Aid depends on how your charity is set up.

You need to claim for a donation within 4 years of the end of the financial period you received it in. This is:

  • the tax year (6 April to 5 April) if you’re a trust
  • your accounting period if your charity is a community amateur sports club (CASC), a Charity Incorporated Organisation (CIO) or a limited company

You must claim on cash donations under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme within 2 years of the end of the tax year that the donations were collected in.

Keeping records

You need to keep records of these donations for a further two years.

When you’ll get paid

You’ll get a Gift Aid payment by BACS within:

  • 4 weeks if you claimed online
  • 5 weeks if you claimed by post using form ChR1

Contact the charities helpline if your repayment is wrong or if you submitted an incorrect claim.