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Gift Aid celebrates its 25th birthday

On the eve of Children in Need 2015 the government marks the 25th anniversary of Gift Aid, which has raised over £13 billion for UK Charities

Today (12 November 2015) Treasury Minister Damian Hinds hailed the success of 25 years of Gift Aid and encouraged more individuals and charities large and small to make their donations go further.

The scheme, through which 25p of tax relief can be claimed by a charity on every pound donated, was introduced in the Finance Act 1990 and saw £10 million claimed in its first year. Since then millions of gift-aiders and thousands of charities have benefitted. Last year alone Gift Aid was worth nearly £1.2 billion to UK charity sector. In total over £13 billion of Gift Aid relief has been paid to charities since 1990.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Damian Hinds said:

I’m delighted that we have now seen a quarter of a century of Gift Aid. In that time the scheme has helped people across the UK see their gift go that bit further.

We will continue to improve the scheme whilst encouraging more charities and people to make the most of it to maximise the Gift Aid claimed on eligible donations.

The government is continuing to work on refining the Gift Aid scheme to make it simpler for charities to claim on eligible donations. In 2013, government introduced an online system for charities to submit Gift Aid applications online, reducing the time taken to process Gift Aid payments to charities from around 15 working days to less than five days.

The government has also worked with the sector to develop a new, simpler, Gift Aid form which will be introduced in April 2016, to make it easier for eligible donors to sign up to Gift Aid their donations.

Support for the sector extends beyond Gift Aid. For example, from April 2016 the government will increase the limit on the amount of money a charity can claim through the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme each year, from £5,000 to £8,000. This means charities can receive a ‘top up’ on small donations like the money you give to a collection tin.

So how can you sign up for Gift Aid?

As an individual – you must have paid enough tax to cover the Gift Aid claimed on your donation. You can then complete a Gift Aid declaration form alongside your donation.

As a charity - you need to register for charitable status with HMRC. GOV.UK demonstrates the process.