Gift Aid and Planned Giving
PLANNED GIVING The benefit of Planned Giving is that the Church will have a reasonably accurate indication of the income that is expected as those who participate in the scheme give a “pledge” to pay £X per annum, although this can be changed at any time. There are two ways to participate in the Planned Giving scheme.
The first, and by far the most efficient in terms of minimising the work required by the volunteers who carry out the administration, is to make a regular payment by standing order, usually monthly, and many members of the congregation already adopt this method.
The second method is the use of confidential numbered weekly envelopes, a pack of which is issued to each participant once a year so that a set amount is provided each week, though of course absences through holidays etc. are catered for by simply putting the appropriate amount in the next envelope date after any absence. There is significantly more work required by volunteers in the administration of this system and for this reason we urge donors to consider using the standing order scheme if possible. We hope that all members of the congregation who are taxpayers will sign a Gift Aid declaration when setting up their planned giving as the church then receives an additional 25% on top of the amount given.
UNPLANNED GIVING The usual form of unplanned giving is cash placed in the collection plates. However if you are a taxpayer (see below) a 25% extra benefit is gained by use of the white “Gift Aid” envelopes available on the pews, but they must be fully completed please - there is no benefit if they are left blank or only partially completed.
These envelopes were originally intended for use by occasional or visiting worshippers but it is apparent that some contributors are using them regularly. If this applies to you I wonder if you might prefer to use the formal “numbered envelope” scheme which would at least mean you do not have to write out your details each time!
WHAT IS “GIFT AID” If you sign a simple form the Church (as with all charities) can reclaim an amount representing the tax which you will have paid on the income from which you are making the donation and this currently amounts to an extra 25p for each £ given. Why 25p when the tax rate is 20p in the £? An example of someone giving £100:- with a tax rate of 20% you need to have earned £125 to have £100 left after tax and the charity can claim that £25 back from the Inland Revenue.
There is no direct link between the Church and your personal tax records; the charity merely submits a list of names and amounts donated in the year in order to reclaim the tax on the total figure. However the Inland Revenue reserve the right to carry out spot checks to ensure that donors have paid sufficient tax to cover the amount reclaimed in their name and each year a number of charities have their books audited to this end. Therefore you should only complete a Gift Aid Declaration if you do pay an amount of tax which would cover the amount reclaimable on your donation(s).
But what qualifies as “tax” in this context? It is any income tax or capital gains tax paid on earnings, pensions, sale of assets etc. and includes dividend income from which tax has been deducted at a lower rate and also interest on bank or building society deposits where interest is paid net but the tax has not been reclaimed by you. Clearly the majority of donors will have paid some qualifying tax and I would urge everyone who is eligible to make their contributions under Gift Aid which results in a substantial addition to our income (and there is considerable satisfaction in getting money back from the Chancellor!).
GENERAL Perhaps I may remind existing donors that the amount donated may be altered at any time; all I ask is that you let me know so that I can amend the record accordingly, a telephone call will be sufficient. If you have any questions on this subject, or would like to raise a standing order or join the envelope scheme, or are unsure if you are already on the Gift Aid scheme, please telephone me.
Tony Ellison, Planned Giving and Gift Aid Secretary,
Tillat House, Sturt Green, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 2JF
Tel: 01628 622090 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org