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Digital giving and social giving accounts

HMRC have found that increasing numbers of Gift Aid donations do not in fact qualify for Gift Aid. Of particular concern are donations being made through digital platforms including social media and fundraising websites without any verification checks made by HMRC or the platform providers. An estimated £1million a month is being paid out by HMRC every month where in fact no Gift Aid is due. As a result HMRC have revised their guidance on the issue.

Donors must only claim Gift Aid when donating their own money when using social giving opportunities. The donor must also still give the charity a valid Gift Aid declaration, to confirm that they have paid, or will pay, UK income tax or capital gains tax in support of a donation.

So, the donor cannot Gift Aid money collected from family, friends or work colleagues, or money raised from fundraising activities such as jumble sales, raffles, tombola’s or ticket sales etc.

If the donor has a social giving account with a charity fundraiser or registers a credit or debit card with a fundraising website then they can only Gift Aid their own donations made through their social giving account. They can use their account to transfer money given to them by others to pass on to charity, but they can only claim Gift Aid on their own donations that are charged to their account, and for which they do not receive a compensating payment from others.

If they donate to charity with a text message then they can use Gift Aid if they are donating their own money and they are the person who is legally responsible for paying the mobile phone bill.

As a result of the quantum of errors, HMRC are looking to charities to improve the education of their donors. They are suggesting that on fundraising websites confirmation statements along the following lines should be made:

  • “I am donating my own money and the funds have not come from anyone else including family members or from an office or bucket collection
  • The money I am donating is not the proceeds from sales of goods or services or the sale of tickets on behalf of the charity
  • I have not received something in return for this donation such as an entry ticket to an event or a raffle ticket. “

It should be noted that currently there is no statutory requirement to do so and the wording is only a guide. However, it must now be best practice for a charity to provide such wording. 



Date: 6th April, 2017
Author: David Hadley


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