What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is a tax relief scheme which allows charities to claim 25% of the tax already paid on all eligible donations made by a UK taxpayer.  This means you can increase your donation to Unicef UK by an extra 25% at no extra cost to you.  If you give £10 this becomes £12.50. 

How does Gift Aid work?

It’s really easy, you will be asked to complete a Gift Aid declaration form

This is a statement from you to the charity confirming that you are a UK taxpayer and that you want the charity to claim gift aid on your donations. Please remember to notify us if your tax status, your name or address changes so that we can amend our records accordingly.  

Are you eligible for Gift Aid?

You must be a UK taxpayer and paid Income &/or Capital Gains Tax in that financial year.  However, you do not necessarily have to be working to pay tax.  

If any of the below applies then you could still qualify for Gift Aid:

  • You have taxable savings, state pension or other pension plans
  • You have taxable investment or rental income
  • You pay Capital Gains Tax

Only UK tax counts, so if you pay tax outside the UK then unfortunately you won’t qualify for Gift Aid.

You will need to understand that if you pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all your donations it is your responsibility to pay any difference.

The facts about Gift Aid

  • You must be a UK taxpayer.
  • Gift Aid only applies to “freewill gifts” and can be claimed on individual or sponsorship donations made to charity.
  • We cannot claim gift aid on donations made in return for tickets (raffles, events and auctions).  
  • We cannot claim Gift Aid on goods and services.
  • We cannot claim Gift Aid if you are making a donation on behalf of someone else or a group of people. (For example if a friend gives you £10 cash and then you add it to your fundraisings page using your own card. Even if your friend is a UK taxpayer, the donation is not eligible because HMRC needs to know the details of the person actually contributing the funds.
  • We cannot claim Gift Aid on a donation made on behalf of a company. You can only make Gift Aid declarations on your own taxpayer status when spending your own money. However, a company can claim tax relief on the donation when donating directly to the charity.
  • We cannot claim Gift Aid if you are making a donation to a family member who's taking part in an event and their charity is contributing to the cost. For example, if you're donating to a close family member who is doing an overseas trek and the charity is paying for the cost of their trip.

What does it mean for Gift Aid if I pay higher rate tax?

If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, you can claim the difference between the higher rate of tax and the basic rate on the total value of your donation which you can keep or pass on to charity. Simply indicate how much you’ve donated when completing your tax self-assessment form.

If you have any questions on Gift Aid or you forgot to add Gift Aid to your donation, please contact our Supporter Care Team on 0300 330 5580 or supportercare@unicef.org.uk.

Information about donating a legacy to Unicef © Unicef/HQ06-1265/Tahira Bano
By leaving a legacy and donating to Unicef, you can help children all over the world, like these children who were affected by the 2005 Pakistan earthquake. © Unicef/HQ06-1265/Tahira Bano

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