In this article, we'll aim to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about tracking and claiming Gift Aid in Spektrix.
If you haven't already, we'd suggest you have a read of our Tracking and Claiming Gift Aid article. If you still have questions, or want more information on anything touched upon in this article, you can always contact the Spektrix Support team.
What is Gift Aid?
Free money! No, really, it is! Gift Aid is a scheme set up by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) where UK donors can give a UK registered charity permission to reclaim the tax on their donation. This is worth 25p for every £1 you receive from a donor.
Spektrix can track all of your Gift Aid and submit claims to HMRC for you – take a look at our article on Tracking and Claiming Gift Aid on how to set this up.
What do I need to claim Gift Aid?
In order to claim Gift Aid, you'll need three things:
- To be registered as a UK registered charity
- To have received a donation
- To have a valid Gift Aid declaration from a donor
For information on registering as a charity, check out this article from GOV.UK. Information about getting set up to take donations is available in our article on Donations and Funds, and our article on Tracking and Claiming Gift Aid covers how Gift Aid declarations work in Spektrix.
Who is responsible for my organisation correctly claiming Gift Aid?
It is your responsibility to ensure you're claiming the correct amount of Gift Aid. At Spektrix we can help you get the most out of the system and ensure claiming Gift Aid is as easy as possible.
If you have any questions about claiming Gift Aid (as opposed to how to claim Gift Aid through Spektrix), please visit the HMRC website.
How can I store a Gift Aid declaration in Spektrix?
A Gift Aid declaration gives you permission to collect the tax back from HMRC. There are three types of declaration:
HMRC requires you to keep a record of any Gift Aid declarations as they may need to check a donor's declaration; handily, you can store declarations in Spektrix.
If you're taking a donation for a customer without a valid declaration, you will be prompted to take one; if they hold a valid declaration that covers the day you're taking the donation, this step will be skipped.
Each declaration in Spektrix will detail how the declaration was made and what date range it covers. You can also attach a copy of the declaration if required.
You can choose to either provide details manually (a free text field will appear if you choose this option), or to scan and attach a copy of the declaration:
This information will sit on the record for future reference:
For verbal declarations, you can either keep a recording of the conversation, provide details manually (a free text field will appear if you choose this option), or confirm the declaration in writing by post or email:
This information will be stored on the customer record for future reference:
If your online Gift Aid declaration text conforms to the requirements set by HMRC, you don't need to store anything against the customer record other than the information that they made the declaration online:
If a customer makes a donation online, they'll be shown the standard HMRC Gift Aid declaration as part of the checkout process. There is also the option to add your own custom text to encourage donors to make a declaration; just contact Spektrix Support and let us know what you'd like added.
NOTE: it's not possible to permanently exclude a customer from Gift Aid eligibility – making a donation without a declaration only excludes that donation from Gift Aid. The reason for this is that customers' details and circumstances might change in future, so you wouldn't want to completely remove the possibility of claiming Gift Aid from that customer forever.
How do I report on Gift Aid?
All Gift Aid reporting is done in relation to donations. Once you've turned on Gift Aid tracking, every donation in your system will be marked with the following:
- Gift Aid Claimable = TRUE/FALSE
- Gift Aid Claimed = TRUE/FALSE
For example, a donation made today which has a valid declaration will look like this:
If you submit an automatic Gift Aid claim through Spektrix and the claim comes back successful, the status of this donation will change, meaning it's never possible for it to be claimed twice:
NOTE: it isn't possible to manually change the Gift Aid Claimed status; if you've been making claims outside of Spektrix you'll need to take this into account if you decide to move your ongoing Gift Aid declarations into Spektrix and start making claims. You can do this by setting the date range of the donations you would like to claim Gift Aid on to exclude any donations you have included in a manual claim.
Gift Aid Declarations can also be backdated; doing this will change the status of past donations. For example, if someone donates today and a declaration isn't captured the donation will look like this:
If they make a second donation in the future and a declaration is captured and is backdated to cover the date of the last donation, both donations will now look like this:
How often can I make a Gift Aid claim?
As often as you like! It's best to do it on a regular basis – we'd suggest every one to three months.
NOTE: donors have 30 days in which they can cancel a Gift Aid declaration, which means you can't claim on donations that were made in the last 30 days. Spektrix enforces this by ensuring that each claim you submit will only cover donations made at least 30 days before today's date.
Each claim you submit should go back to your first date of making automatic claims and up to 30 days before you make a claim to ensure all claims are up to date.
How far back can I claim Gift Aid?
Whilst the law states that you can claim for donations made within four financial years, we would recommend that you only claim for donations made in Spektrix. This should exclude donations that have been imported into Spektrix from your legacy system, which are by default marked as not being claimable – meaning that there will never be the possibility of claiming for these twice.
If you can't remember this date, or want to talk this through, just get in touch with the Support Team who can help.
I've got lots of small cash donations, can I claim Gift Aid on these?
Yes, you can, HMRC's small cash donations scheme means you can claim Gift Aid on small cash and contactless card donations even if you don't have Gift Aid Declarations. You can claim on:
- Cash donations of £30 or less
- Contactless card donations of £30 or less, collected on or after 6 April 2019
There is, however, a maximum limit that you can claim per tax year:
- From 6 April 2016 onward you can claim up to £2,000 in a tax year
- For earlier years you can claim up to £1,250 in a tax year
For full terms, make sure you read the information on GOV.UK thoroughly.
Without a Gift Aid Declaration, you can't make a claim through Spektrix; as such, you'll have to submit a manual claim for these donations. Any small cash donations can be processed through Spektrix without a customer record attached. To keep track of these, you might want to create a specific Fund (e.g. Bucket Collections) so you know exactly how much you raised in small cash donations. For more information on setting up a Fund, have a read of our article on Donations and Funds. We can also make a report for you to send to HMRC manually – just get in touch with the Spektrix Support team to discuss this.
What happens if I claim too much?
Firstly, don't panic! You're not the first (and probably won't be the last!)
The good news is it's almost impossible to claim too much if you're running your claims through Spektrix, as Spektrix will never let you claim on the same donation twice (making it much more reliable than making a manual claim). The most likely reason for over-claiming is due to a Gift Aid declaration being incorrectly recorded.
If you do find you've claimed for a donation where you don't have a valid Gift Aid declaration, HMRC have a process in place so you can pay them back any money you might owe: contact the HMRC charities helpline for more information.
I've tried to send a claim to HMRC via Spektrix but it's failed. What should I do?
Once a claim has been submitted you'll see it in your Gift Aid claims in the Admin Interface under Other > Gift Aid Claims:
If Spektrix fails to send the claim to HMRC, it will be marked as Failed in the Status column, and the details of why will be listed under Error details
If you haven't already, try previewing your claim before submitting it, using the Preview Claim button. If this runs successfully, try making your claim again.
If it fails a second time, check your HMRC login details are correct in Settings Interface > System Config > Gift Aid. If they're correct and you still can't send a claim, contact the Spektrix Support team.
My claim has succeeded, what do I do now?
Once you've made a claim, you can view the donations that were submitted by clicking the View donations button next to the successful claim:
This will download an Excel file listing every donation covered by this claim. Most should have succeeded; however, it's possible that you may have a few that failed. If this does happen, it will be marked as FALSE in the Sent to HMRC column and a reason will be given in the Notes column, e.g. Customer's default billing address is in the UK, but doesn't have a valid postcode - this donation was not submitted to HMRC - update the customer's address and make another claim to try this donation again.
The customer ID will be listed in the report under Customer ID, too, so you can easily go to the record in the Sales Interface and make any necessary corrections.
If a donation fails, its Gift Aid Claimed status will remain FALSE; once the record is corrected, the claim will be re-submitted the next time you submit a claim for that date range.
HMRC will make a payment for the correct amount straight into your registered bank account following a successful claim.
If you still have questions about Gift Aid, or want more information, please contact the Spektrix Support team.