The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) has been in place since 2013 and underwent an overhaul just over 2 years ago. GASDS enables charities to claim a top-up payment on small cash donations and, following the overhaul referred to above, contactless donations received.
There are some quite detailed eligibility conditions that must be met, but assuming your charity meets these conditions, the process is relatively straightforward.
GASDS can be claimed on donations of £30 or less made by individuals. The maximum amount of donations on which GASDS can be claimed each year is £8,000, meaning that GASDS is capped at £2,000 (assuming a basic tax rate of 20%). The cap is also affected by the amount of Gift Aid donations your charity has received in that tax year; you can claim no more than 10 times the total amount of Gift Aid donations claimed. For example, if you claim Gift Aid of £25 on Gift Aided donations of £100 in a tax year, the maximum GASDS you can claim will be on small donations of £1,000.
In most cases charities will claim GASDS on donations collected anywhere in the UK, but some charities with multiple community buildings may be able to claim higher amounts. If your charity shares a community building with other charities, you must claim under the community building rules.
GASDS captures donations made through bucket collections and collecting tins, as well as non-Gift Aided offerings received at church services.
Sufficient records must be kept to support your claims. These will include:
- details of small donations received,
- evidence that cash received has been banked,
- evidence that contactless donations were credited to a UK bank account,
- record of denomination of all notes received.
All small cash donations must be banked to qualify for GASDS. If the small donations are used to pay for expenses you will not be able to claim the top-up payment.
GASDS is claimed through the usual Gift Aid process. Unlike Gift Aid, where claims must be made within 4 years of the end of the tax year in which the donations were received, GASDS claims must be made within 2 years.