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On 20 June HMRC announced that more than 12,000 charities have registered to take advantage of their online gift aid claims service. Whilst this is a significant achievement there is still a long way to go before all 87,000 charities and community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) sign up.
With the current paper claim form (R68i) being withdrawn at the end of September, charities will need to take steps to register online, or if they do not have access to the internet will have to switch to using a new paper claim form (ChR1). Full details of the options open to charities and CASCs can be found on hmrc.gov.uk/charitiesonline.
Gift aid is a quick and easy way for charities to generate extra income but although some twenty three million individual gift aid donations are made each year, charities are estimated to be missing out on over £75million of income through not making the most of opportunities. Often this is down to a lack of confidence in asking visitors or customers for a donation or to employees and volunteers not being fully engaged in the aims of the charity and therefore not being fully aware of the gift aid potential.
Taking time out to engage charity employees and volunteers and to provide training in the way they engage with visitors can make a huge difference to the amount of gift aid which is donated. For example one charity which Culture Consultancy worked with reported a 75% increase in gift aid sign-up and that represents an income which charities and CASCs can well do with in these current difficult climes.