Gift Aid FAQs

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is a government scheme that allows charities to reclaim the tax that you have already paid on your donations through income tax or capital gains tax.

Why do I need to make a declaration?

The declaration gives Shelter authority to reclaim tax from HM Revenue & Customs on your gift. By making the declaration, you are confirming that you understand this.

How do I know if I am a UK taxpayer?

You ARE a UK income tax payer if:

  • Tax is taken from your wages or pension before you receive them

  • You have to fill in a self-assessment form

  • You have any taxable savings (in a building society, for instance), or a pension plan, or investment income

  • You have recently paid any capital gains tax, or expect to pay it in the near future. This could be on the sale of a property or some shares, for example

If any of these apply to you, please complete and submit your declaration today.

Do I have to make a declaration with every gift? Does the Gift Aid scheme include previously given donations?

When you provide a Gift Aid declaration it will cover all of the eligible donations you have given up until 4 years previous (in tax years, 6 April – 5 April) and on any donation you may make in the future, so only one declaration is required.

What types of donations are eligible for the Gift Aid scheme?

Most regular and single personal donations are eligible, for example:

  • Direct Debits, Standing Orders, cheques, cash and text giving

Donations that are not eligible include:

  • Charities Aid Foundation account or similar agency donations (please see specific question below for more information)

  • Payroll Giving donations

  • Company donations

  • Trust donations

What if I was a taxpayer last year, but am not this year (or vice versa)?

Please call the Supporter Helpdesk on 0300 330 1234 who will be able to record details of this change.

How can Shelter reclaim 25% when the basic rate of tax is currently 20%?

This is because the basic rate of tax is calculated on the gross amount of the donation. This means we can reclaim 20% of the amount you earned before tax was deducted, which works out to be 25% of the amount that we receive. To find out the exact amount of tax that Shelter can reclaim, multiply the amount of your donation by 20 and then divide it by 80.

What if I pay tax at the higher rate?

Charities can only claim back tax at the basic rate, but that is still worth 25% to us, so please complete and return the declaration anyway.

As a higher-rate taxpayer you have the right to reclaim tax on your charitable donations. All you have to do is remember to include details of your charitable gifts on your self-assessment tax form to claim your additional personal tax relief (this being the difference between the basic rate of 20% and your higher rate).

If you would like a receipt for eligible donations that you have made, then please contact our Supporter Helpdesk on 0300 330 1234.

What if I am a pensioner?

You may still be paying tax on a private pension plan or a savings account, or pay capital gains tax if you sell either a property or shares. You are still eligible if you have paid enough tax during the year to cover your donations (i.e. 25% of the value of your gifts).

I am not a taxpayer but my partner is, and our donations are made jointly. Are our gifts still eligible?

Yes, your gifts are still eligible for Gift Aid, but we need your personal details separately for our records. Please contact our Supporter Helpdesk on 0300 330 1234 and they will send you a special form to fill in.

To confirm, if you are giving jointly, the person or persons who complete a Gift Aid declaration must be named on the account from which the donation is made.

What about money paid under an old deed of covenant?

If you had a covenant in existence on 5 April 2000, you can continue to make the payments due under that deed of covenant until it expires without having to complete a Gift Aid declaration. However, due to the age of such covenants, we would advise and welcome that you re-confirm your agreement to the scheme by completing a new Gift Aid declaration.

If you make additional gifts or change the value of your gift under the original covenant, you must complete a new Gift Aid declaration to cover those gifts if you want us to be able to recover the tax on them.

Can I use Charities Aid Foundation (or similar agency) vouchers to make Gift Aid donations?

Shelter cannot reclaim tax on donations made through the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) or similar agencies as the tax has already been reclaimed for you. However, we would be grateful if you could complete and return a Gift Aid declaration anyway so that any donations that you have not made from your CAF account can be tax-effective, as well.

What if I have agreed to Gift Aid to another charity?

You can support as many UK charities as you like through Gift Aid. All you need to do is return a declaration to each charity that you support and ensure that you are paying enough tax during the year to cover your total annual donations.

Can I withdraw a declaration on a particular gift?

If, for any reason, you decide that your gift should not be included in Gift Aid – for example, if you think that you will not pay enough tax to cover the tax reclaimed by us – then simply call our Supporter Helpdesk on 0300 330 1234 and ask for the declaration to be withdrawn or for a particular gift too be excluded from the scheme.

However, please note that it is your responsibility to notify us of any withdrawal from the Gift Aid scheme as soon as possible – for example, if you stop paying tax or you think that a donation you are making would not be eligible for the scheme. Thank you.

Can I stop giving?

Completing a Gift Aid declaration does not put you under any obligation to give again – it merely ensures that we can reclaim tax on the donations that you have already made and any you may make in the future, so that your gifts go further at no extra cost to you.

I am participating in an event and my sponsors would like to Gift Aid their donations.

If you haven’t already done so, please contact our events team on 0344 515 1190 or events@shelter.org.uk to let them know what event you are taking part in and they will be able to provide you with support and materials should you need them. This includes sponsorship forms where each sponsor can record their details to enable Gift Aid to be claimed on their offline donation.

Please note that the original sponsorship forms need to be sent in with your offline fundraising donations. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept copied or rewritten forms for Gift Aid.

I am organising a collection for Shelter. Can I Gift Aid this?

Each donor would need to complete a Gift Aid declaration for the collection to be eligible for Gift Aid. The easiest way to do this would be to use our Sponsorship form. However, if this is not appropriate please contact our supporter help desk on 0300 330 1234 and they will be able to send you individual forms that you can hand out.

Please note that you cannot Gift Aid a collection of money from other people under your own name.

If your collection is in relation to In Memory giving, please see our dedicated section here. Or email our In Memory team for support materials or any queries you may have.

If you have any further questions about Gift Aid or if you think you might not be eligible, please contact the Shelter Supporter Helpdesk on 0300 330 1234 or info@shelter.org.uk

Shelter Retail Gift Aid and agency agreement

Shelter will act as your ‘agent’ to sell your donated goods on your behalf, if you the owner will give the sale proceeds (minus commission of 2%) to the charity as a Gift Aid donation.

Our agency agreement

Shelter (Trading) Ltd will act as my agent in selling the goods, from which a 2% commission fee + VAT will be deducted from the proceeds of the sale. Any goods that are unsuitable for sale or goods that Shelter is unable to sell will be recycled or disposed of and will not be returned. The net proceeds from the sale of the goods will be donated to Shelter. It will not be necessary to write to me to confirm the donations, provided that the total net proceeds from the sale of the goods so far in the tax year has not exceeded £1,000 but where they do, Shelter will write to me to seek consent to those funds over and above the initial £1,000 being donated and will write with in-year updates as further goods are sold. Unsold goods will be disposed of.

As the owner, you have the right to keep all proceeds from the sale of the goods. You can choose to donate all or part of the amount. Shelter can claim Gift Aid on the agreed amount after any commission (including VAT) has been deducted.

Gift Aid declaration:

I would like Shelter to reclaim the tax I have paid on all donations I have made in this tax year, the four years prior to this year, and on any donations I may make in the future. Important: If your tax circumstances change or name/address details change please notify Shelter in writing confirming these changes. You must be a UK taxpayer. If you pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in that tax year, it is your responsibility to pay any difference.