Gift Aid - Backdating

Raging Pineapples
Raging Pineapples Registered Posts: 110 Dedicated contributor 🦉
I've been asked to work on a voluntary basis for a charity, so I'm having to brush up on my Gift Aid, which I'll confess is not good.

I've done a lot of research on DirectGovUk, HMRC and others, but I need to double check my understanding with you:

SUMMARY (figures and character hypothetical)

Dave pays £2,000 income tax
He reclaims £1,500 in Gift Aid (he *really* likes charities, okay?)

Dave only pays £850 income tax this time
He still reclaims £1,500 in Gift Aid (don't ask me how)

He can offset the Gift Aid reimbursements in this way:

£850 = Offset against 2009/10 tax year
£500 = Offset against 2008/9 tax year
£150 = Balance which Dave may have to repay to HMRC?

Am I right in my assumption that you can't backdate more than 1 year? Because most sources say you can backdate to 'the previous year' singular.

However, HMRC's overview of Gift Aid states that a declaration can be backdated up to 6 years... but it then states that the donation would have to have been made since April 2000 (see note 1).

Am I right in reading this statement as thus: That a declaration can be written saying "all those donations I made since April 2000 can now be retrospectively Gift Aided", NOT that a declaration which is made in this current year can be reclaimed as if it fell at any year since 2000.

How's my understanding on this?


I knew there'd be something I'd forget!! Also, at what point must it be declared that they wish to backdate? I can imagine someone retired and paying little tax paying some of their savings and therefore reclaiming too much tax and only noticing this when HMRC reads their tax return and says 'hmm, give us £xxx please". Would she subsequently be able to write them and request that her tax return be amended to try and offset as much as possible against the earlier tax year(s)?

This is all assuming she files her return in good time and so has time to take the issue up before 31st Jan 2011.

Note 1:


  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Long question!

    Essentially, yes, if you have declared that you are a taxpayer on the Gift Aid declaration and it turns out that you are either not a taxpayer or have paid insufficient tax to cover it then you will have to pay that tax over to HMRC as they will have refunded it to the charity.

    You can carry back a Gift Aid donation only one year and this election must be made by 31st January following the tax year of the donation. Although you can amend a tax return within 12 months of the filing date I do not believe you can change a Gift Aid carry back election past that date unless there was an error or mistake. Noticing that there was a more tax efficient way of declaring the donation would not be considered an error or mistake.

    The 6 year declaration rule relates only to declaring to the donee charity so that they can reclaim the tax as the donor meets the qualifying criteria. It has no impact on the time limits for declaring a Gift Aid donation on the donor's Tax Return.
  • Raging Pineapples
    Raging Pineapples Registered Posts: 110 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    Thanks for a comprehensive and thorough reply :)

    You rock, sir!
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