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How you can benefit from Gift Aid

PUBLISHED: 09:49 27 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:57 27 March 2017

David Carr and Julie Walters presenting a cheque to the Hanningfield Sailability Project. Photo E C Financial Services Ltd

David Carr and Julie Walters presenting a cheque to the Hanningfield Sailability Project. Photo E C Financial Services Ltd

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If you’re a UK taxpayer, the money in your pocket has already been subject to tax.

Stephen Franklin presenting a cheque to CHESS. Photo E C Financial Services LtdStephen Franklin presenting a cheque to CHESS. Photo E C Financial Services Ltd

By choosing to gift money to charity, that charity is then able to claim the basic rate of tax (20%) back from HMRC. If you routinely donate to a number of different charities you’ll have to register for Gift Aid with each one – this usually involves a simple form.

What you can claim Gift Aid on:

• A voluntary gift of money for which the you do not receive a benefit

• Charity membership subscriptions

• Charity auction donations (if the bid is more than the market value)

• Sale of goods on your behalf – some charity shops can now claim Gift Aid on the proceeds of your donated items.

Julie Walters presenting a cheque to Alex Dowsett of ‘Little Bleeders’. Photo by E C Financial Services LtdJulie Walters presenting a cheque to Alex Dowsett of ‘Little Bleeders’. Photo by E C Financial Services Ltd

If you pay income tax at the higher rate (40%) you can benefit from Gift Aid by more than just the warm feeling of altruism. By informing HMRC of your donation when you complete your self-assessment tax return, you’ll save a further 20%.

Gifting large amounts to charity in a Will can also save Inheritance Tax (IHT). Currently, estates over £325,000 (for an unmarried person) are subject to IHT of 40% on the excess. Leaving 10% of your net estate to charity decreases the IHT to 36% - potentially a considerable saving for your beneficiaries.

Every quarter at E C Financial Services Ltd we donate £250 to a charity in and around Chelmsford. Whilst all charities are considered, we’re particularly interested in smaller charities. ECFS is a small business and we understand the importance of having a ‘local mind’ - we attend careers evenings at nearby schools and our senior adviser Stephen Franklin offers free auto-enrolment seminars to local business owners. We enjoy seeing the effects of philanthropy in our surroundings and find that smaller charities limit their scope to the local area.

This quarter we’re focusing on mental health services in and around Chelmsford. As Independent Financial Advisers we’re in the business of making people financially comfortable, but we know money doesn’t buy happiness. ‘Mind’ predicts that one in four people will experience a mental health issue each year and a donation of just £8.00 can allow a call handler from the charity speak to a person in need of support.

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