Gift Aid Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Gift Aid Scheme?

Gift Aid is a UK government tax relief scheme that allows charities to claim tax paid on donations. If you sign up to Gift Aid, for every £1 you donate, we can claim 25p from the government. A £10 donation with a Gift Aid declaration becomes a £12.50 donation, at no additional cost to you.

Gift Aid can also be applied on donations and membership subscriptions you’ve made in the last four years. You can Gift Aid your charitable donations to as many charities as you like, as long as you’re a UK tax payer and you’ve paid enough income tax or capital gains tax to cover all the Gift Aid that will be claimed.

Will Gift Aid cost me anything?

No. Gift Aid is taken from tax you’ve already paid so there’s no charge to you. Signing up to the Gift Aid Scheme just means that we can reclaim the tax on your membership subscriptions and donations, if you are a UK taxpayer, directly from HMRC. If circumstances change and you no longer pay enough tax, it's important to tell all the charities you support. If you don't tell them and they continue claiming Gift Aid, then it is your responsibility to pay any difference to HMRC.

Am I eligible to make a Gift Aid declaration?

To qualify for Gift Aid, you must have paid Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax (in the UK) for each tax year (6 April to 5 April) at least equal to the tax all the charities you donate to will reclaim on your gifts for that tax year. For more information on how to check if you've paid enough tax to use Gift Aid, please visit the HMRC website.

It is important to be aware that if you pay less Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in that tax year, then it is your responsibility to pay any difference to HMRC. Taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify for Gift Aid. If circumstances change and you no longer pay enough tax, please let us know so we can update our records accordingly.

What donations are eligible for Gift Aid?

The Macular Society can claim Gift Aid when you make a monetary donation from your own funds. However, certain donations are not eligible to claim Gift Aid on. For example, if you have been charged an entry fee e.g. a ticket for a performance or sports event, or you have bought something or entered a competition e.g. a raffle or sweepstake, these are not eligible for Gift Aid. If the donation is from a non-UK taxpayer or made on behalf of a company, or if your donation is on behalf of someone else or a group of people e.g. collection from work colleagues, then these are not eligible for Gift Aid.

Why do I need to keep you updated of my address or details?

The HMRC require charities to keep a record of the Gift Aid declaration which includes the full name of the donor and full home postal address where the donor is registered as a UK tax payer. If the charity is unable to provide this information, it’s likely that the declaration will be considered invalid. The HMRC recommends that charities ask donors at regular intervals, to check the personal details held, but it is the responsibility of the donor to inform any charity if their details change or they are no longer a tax payer. To let us know if you have changed your name or address, please use the online form or contact us at or on 01264 350 551. 

I am no longer a UK taxpayer. How do I cancel my Gift Aid? 

To let us know if you stop paying tax or wish to cancel your declaration, please use the online form or contact us at or on 01264 350 551. 

How long does the declaration last for?

The Gift Aid declaration wording normally covers present, future and past donations. We can back-claim four years and we will continue to claim until you tell us otherwise, so long as you are eligible. So please let us know if you wish to cancel your declaration.

What if I donate to several charities and want to Gift Aid to all of them?

You can do this by signing a declaration for each charity. As long as each tax year you will have paid at least the equivalent amount of tax that all the charities combined will be claiming, Gift Aid can be applied. It’s your responsibility to repay any difference.

What if I am a higher rate tax payer?

Higher rate tax payers are entitled to claim the difference between their rate of tax and the basic rate on the total value of the donation. Individuals can claim the additional tax relief through their Self-Assessment tax return or by asking HMRC to amend their tax code.


If you have any further questions about Gift Aid please get in touch on 01264 350 551 or