For every pound donated by a UK taxpayer to a charity, the charity being supported will also receive additional money from the government.
Gift Aid can apply to donations of any amount paid by cash, cheque, postal order, direct debit, standing order, debit or credit card, or even in a foreign currency. Gift Aid can only be claimed on gifts of money from individuals, sole traders or partnerships.
However, not all payments to charities qualify for Gift Aid. For example, donations of money from a company, or gifts that come with a condition about repayment, do not qualify.
A single Gift Aid declaration can apply to all past donations you have made to the same charity since April 2000 and to all the future donations you make to that charity.
Individuals have the opportunity to reclaim some tax paid on money given to charities by including details of their Gift Aid donations on their tax return.
There are special rules for certain types of payments to charities, such as payments connected to admissions to view charity property. Charity events and auctions, as well as membership subscriptions, are also subject to different rules.
Gift Aid only applies to cash donations, not to the donation of possessions or other goods. However, many large charities have systems in place that eventually allow them to reclaim tax on goods donated to their shops.