Q. I’d like to give more money to charity. I've heard I can do this using Gift Aid. What is it and how do I go about it?
A. Danny Cox at Hargreaves Lansdown replies: Claiming Gift Aid on donations to your favourite charities gives them an additional tax boost and in many cases you can claim tax back too.
You mustn’t receive anything in return for the gift
Making a donation via Gift Aid is very straight forward. The gift must be to a registered charity and they will ask you to complete a simple declaration when you make the gift. For every £100 you gift, your charity can claim an additional £25 from the taxman making the total donation £125. Higher-rate taxpayers can claim a further £25 tax relief in their self-assessment process.
You mustn’t receive anything in return for the gift, like a lottery ticket.
If you decide to make a gift or sponsor someone doing an event for charity, through websites such as Virgin Giving or Just Giving, the Gift Aid is claimed for you and with an online account, they will also provide a summary of all the gifts you have made through them. This makes tax returns easier for those who are higher-rate taxpayers.
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