Gift Aid Scheme
Did you know that you could help the parish financially if you pay any form of Income Tax?
When parishioners make donations to the parish, the amount donated includes an element of tax which is normally kept by the Inland Revenue. The Gift Aid Scheme is simply a way that parishes can reclaim the tax that you paid on the donations you make.
If you would like your donations to be covered by the Gift Aid Scheme, all you need to do is to sign a Gift Aid Declaration, stating that you want the parish to treat all your donations as Gift Aid donations and reclaim the tax accordingly.
Donations can be made weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually and there is no lower limit on the size of any one-off donations. You can pay regularly by standing order if you wish to. The parish Gift Aid organiser, Tom Rivas, will keep a record of all payments that you make and then reclaim the tax directly from the Inland Revenue.
Please join the scheme at the earliest opportunity.
Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions, please take the time to read through them and hopefully complete a Gift Aid Declaration Form.
How much Income Tax must I pay to be able to take part in Gift Aid?
A. You can join the Gift Aid Scheme if you are an Income Taxpayer and pay tax at either the basic or higher rate, providing you pay an amount of tax at least equal to the amount of any refund claimed by the parish (see table below).
For a given weekly donation this table shows how much annual tax could be reclaimed and therefore how much the total value of the donation would be.
|If you give this amount each week||This amounts to each year||Income Tax reclaimed by the parish||Real amount of your gift||
Give to Caesar what is Caesar's
Can I change the amount I give?
A. Yes. You can increase or decrease the amount you give at any time without having to complete a fresh declaration. Gift Aid allows us to reclaim tax on all amounts given, including irregular, one-off payments (no matter how small, or large).
What methods of giving are allowed by the scheme?
A. Cheques, Standing Order or Cash. However, if you give in cash, it needs to be put in a numbered envelope so there is a proper 'audit trail'. (Please note that the amount you give is confidential as the cash counters do not know to whom the envelopes belong).
What about High rate Taxpayers?
A. High rate Taxpayers will benefit through additional tax relief if they declare their Gift Aid Declaration on their tax return.
How does the scheme work?
A. The standard rate of Income Tax is 22p in the pound. If a person earns £1.28 the tax off is 28p (22% of £1.28). This leaves the person with £1.00 "in the pocket". If the £1.00 is then given to the Church, and the parishioner signs a Gift Aid Declaration Form, the parish can claim back the 28p. (The £1.00 has to be given in an envelope which can be recorded. An increasing number of parishioners are now pay regularly by standing order.)
(N.B. While the basic rate of income tax reduces by 2% to 20% in April 2008, the Chancellor has announced that a transitional rate would apply to Gift Aid claims for the next three years. So, Charities will continue to be able to claim Gift Aid at the old rate of 22%.)
What about couples?
A. A Gift Aid Declaration can only be made in the name of an individual parishioner since Income Tax is claimed back against his or her own tax. If both spouses pay tax they may wish to make separate Declarations for the amounts that they give and must then use their own numbered envelopes or separate banker's order. This enables accurate records to be kept.
Who do I contact to join the scheme?
A. You can print a Gift Aid Declaration Form and a Standing Order Form, fill them in and post them to our parish organiser, Mr Dave Garnish, who can be contacted via the presbytery, or
the Diocesan Gift Aid Office (Telephone: 0191 243 3306, Fax: 0191 2433309), or contact:
Diocesan Gift Aid Organiser: Mr Jim Hughes BSc MA
Assistant:Mrs Maureen Wilson
St. Vincent's Diocesan Offices,
St. Cuthbert's House,
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 7PY