Q. My child’s school is asking parents to make a one-off donation to help with much-needed school funds. If I complete a gift aid form for my donation, will I be able to can claim tax back on the payment?
A. If the school is a registered charity, either registered with the Charity Commission or with HMRC, you can make gift aid payments to them – both regular and one-off payments.
Under gift aid your donation is treated as being made net of basic rate tax (at 20%) tax and the charity claims the tax back from the government. So, if you make a donation of £100 under the Gift Aid scheme and you’re a basic rate taxpayer, the charity is able to claim back tax of £25 from the government, which means the charity receives £125, but it costs you only £100.
However, a higher rate taxpayer can claim 20% (the difference between the higher rate of tax at 40% cent and the basic rate of tax at 20%) as a tax deduction on the total value to the charity of the donation. So, on a gift of £100, a higher rate taxpayer can reclaim £25 (20% of the gross donation of £125). The claim is usually made via the individual’s self-assessment tax return.