Ahead of this year’s London Marathon on Sunday, which holds the Guinness World Record for the largest single annual fundraising event, ICAEW has issued advice reminding accountants and others of the options to claim tax relief on any charitable donations for those taking part
In order to be eligible to claim gift aid, the donor must have paid enough UK income or capital gains tax in the tax year. The tax paid must be equivalent to the amount of gift aid the charity will reclaim on their donation during that tax year.
Donations must be no more than four times what the donor has paid in income tax in the current financial year, and it is the donor’s responsibility to tell the charities they support if they stop paying enough tax.
Higher or additional rate tax payers (40% or 45%) can claim back the difference between the tax they have paid on the donation and what the charity got back in gift aid when they fill in their self assessment tax return, or by asking HMRC to change their code.
As an example, ICAEW says if someone sponsors a friend £100 to run in the London Marathon, the charity they are running for can claim gift aid, making the donation £125. The donor pays 40% tax, so they can personally claim back £25 because the higher rate is 40% and the charity has already claimed 20% of that.
Miskin said: ‘Tread carefully, there are some important things to remember. If the charity does not reclaim the tax this money stays with the Treasury. And if you do not claim the money back on your self assessment return or by asking for a change to your tax code, your refund also stays with the government.
‘Be careful not to sign a gift aid form if you will not be paying enough tax as HMRC may ask you to pay the tax reclaimed by the charity.’