The way that charities claim Gift Aid is about to change and it appears that there is some five months left to get things in place before this happens (September 2013). Hopefully those of us Anglicans will have some sort of diocesan support and guidance regarding this but there is still work to be done to ensure that all is in place regardless.
One of the biggest changes will be the provision of an online facility for claiming Gift Aid (bringing an end to paper systems and to many of the HMRC staff who do the work with it too I assume) but as always with technological solutions there are changes and challenges of the paper and organisation kind to be engaged with and sorted out!
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) have issued the following advice:
• Ensure the right people in their charity know about the changes and when they will happen.
• Read HMRC's guidance on Charities Online available on the HMRC website.
• Make sure you support your Treasurer and involve IT literate members to support and help decide which of three new options they will use:
Online claim form,
Database generated claim, or
• Check which of the following steps you should take:
Register with the Government Gateway
Download and start using the standard HMRC spreadsheets
Speak to software suppliers or internal software development teams
Order the new paper forms from HMRC Charities (0845 302 0203
Get your Gift Aid claims up to date and check that the Gift Aid declarations remain valid.
• Ensure you are collecting all of the required information for a valid Gift Aid claim including a donor's postcode.
• Make sure your Gift Aid processes are robust as HMRC will be better equipped to check the accuracy of all and any Gift Aid claims.
• Check if you can benefit from the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme.
Not original information, but hopefully valid and useful for all those clergy, church councils and Treasurers out there.