Gift Aid Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we claim Gift Aid on the Christmas and Easter Collections when the proceeds are given to clergy?
The offertory collections at Christmas and Easter are applied to the parish fund for the support of clergy. This fund provides personal income for clergy, who are eligible for income tax on this. The maintenance of parish clergy is an inherent part of our charitable objectives and we are entitled to claim Gift Aid on these charitable donations.

Why do we now apply the Gift Aid recovered on the Christmas and Easter collections for the support of clergy to the restricted fund for the support of clergy?
This change was decided by the COO and Bishop Richard in 2018 as it was regarded as a more accurate process in terms of ensuring that Gift Aid arising from a donation is applied in line with the expectations of the donor.

Why can we no longer claim Gift Aid on Mass Stipends?
This was decided because a number of publications such as newsletters contained the message that the fee for a Mass is £10. Setting a fee invalidates the eligibility for Gift Aid and the risk of submitting an invalid claim was considered to be too high.

Which Second Collections can be Gift Aided within the Diocesan scheme?
The Diocesan directory (page 183) lists the special collections taken throughout the year. Most of these relate to third party organisations and charities, and the monies collected are passed over to the recipients without any Gift Aid involvement for the Diocese. When the collection benefits our own charitable funds we can collect Gift Aid and GASDS for the loose change:

  • Lourdes Pilgrimage Fund
  • Education of Future Priests
  • Missionary Endeavour of the Diocese
  • Retired Priests Fund
  • Arundel Cathedral Maintenance
  • Parish funds (maintenance, liturgy, flowers etc).

What happens to the Gift Aid on special collections?
Most second collections are passed to the Diocese and the Gift Aid is retained by the Diocese to add to the fund. This happens for the Lourdes Pilgrimage, Missionary Endeavour of the Diocese and Arundel Cathedral Maintenance collections. Starting in 2019 two new special levies were created to share the costs of Education of Future Priests and Retired Priests between the parishes. For this reason, from 2019, the collections taken for these funds will be retained in parishes to offset the new special levies. The Gift Aid claimed on these collections will be paid over to parishes to help with funding the new levies.

How is GASDS treated on Special Collections
All cash raised on parish or Diocesan collections through the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme is passed to the parish and none of it is retained by the Diocese. This helps each church to gain income of up to £2,000 per year. When the money from the GASDS claim is paid back to the parish an amount corresponding to the cash component of the Christmas and Easter Offertory should be added to the restricted fund for the support of Parish Clergy. This is particularly necessary where the income available to the priest from this fund is falling below the recommended minimum of £6,375 per annum. The parish clergy fund is made up of parish receipts for stole fees and Mass stipends including Foundation Mass dividends and Holy Souls box as well as the Christmas and Easter Offerings and any Gift Aid applied.

What are the benefits of HSBCnet?
The latest transactions are always available live on line so you do not need to wait for the monthly bank statement to arrive and be passed to the Gift Aid organiser for manual entry onto GiftWise. HSBCnet is more secure and does not lead to personal data being left around in the form of bank statements. HSBCnet access is quick and easy to set up and all Gift Aid organisers are entitled to access it.

When will I be audited for Gift Aid?
We will be auditing one parish every week from 6th April 2019 onwards so all parishes will receive a visit within 2 years.

What do I need to attach when uploading a Gift Aid Declaration or yellow envelope to enable an HMRC Claim to be made?
HMRC claims can only be made when Bishop's House has seen a scan of the Gift Aid Declaration or yellow envelope for each donor represented on the claim. The claim will be held up until this verification takes place.

How can I get help on GiftWise?
Start by using the Help screen. Click on the question mark - there videos for most items that you can also click on. If this does not answer your question contact Patricia in the office in Hove on 01273 859705 Tuesdays to Thursdays.

How many years can I go back?
We can claim for donations within 4 years of the end of the tax year in which we received it. For GASDS we need to claim within two years of the end of the tax year.

Can we claim Gift Aid on collections for other Charities?
No. Third party charities are entitled to their own Gift Aid. This is only collected when they supply their own envelopes, and these are submitted to the charity with the funds.

Our priest/deacon/parish secretary is leaving/moving/retiring and we have collected money for a gift. Can this be Gift Aided?
No. This collection is not adding to parish funds to support our charitable activities. It is not a donation to the charity and cannot be Gift Aided.