Top tips for operating charity gift aid

1. How does Gift Aid work?

Only donors who pay UK income tax and/or UK capital gains tax (CGT) should donate under Gift Aid. A donation with a valid Gift Aid declaration is assumed to have been paid net of basic rate income tax which charity can reclaim from HMRC. This is now 20%, so the Gift Aid claim by the Charity would be 25% of the 80% deemed net donation amount.
If the donor is a higher rate taxpayer, they can claim the extra tax relief through a self-assessment tax return or by asking HMRC to amend their tax code.

2. Donations that can be Gift Aided

Gift Aid is available on donations of money from UK income tax and CGT payers. This includes individuals, unincorporated sole traders and partnerships or LLPs, In the latter, each partner is required to provide a declaration for their share.

3. Gift Aid declarations

There are two types of Gift Aid declaration: single donation declarations, for example, ‘please Gift Aid the enclosed donation’; or multiple declarations, for example, ‘please Gift Aid the enclosed donation, all donations make in the previous 5 years and all future donations’.
Declarations can be in writing or verbal and must conform to HMRC’s regulations, which provides model written declarations and a procedure to follow for verbal declarations. Charities are strongly advised to use and follow these.
Charities should retain written Gift Aid declarations and HMRC’s specified evidence of oral declarations for at least 6 years after the last donation to which the declaration relates.

4. Who can claim Gift Aid?

The following entities can make Gift Aid claims: UK community amateur sports clubs (‘CASCs’), UK charities, and charities established in other EU or European Economic Area (EEA) states

5. How to claim Gift Aid

The charity or CASC must first register with HMRC by adding the Gift Aid service to its online account. It can then submit Gift Aid claims in one of three ways:
• direct database claim – from compliant Gift Aid management software to HMRC;
• spreadsheet claim – complete and upload a template spreadsheet from the HMRC website – it can list up to 1,000 donors; or
• paper claim – a paper form (ChR1) ordered from the HMRC charities helpline can list up to 90 donors. Use original forms only.
Claims must list the donor name, home address, donation date and amount. UK addresses must include a postcode. You can aggregate up to £1,000 of donations of £20 or less onto a single claim line and for sponsored events, you can list donations by event participant rather than donor, though individual donations of £500 or more must be included separately.

6. Claim time limits

The time limits depend on the type of claimant. Corporate charities and CASCs can claim in the financial year of the donation or following four financial years. Charitable trusts can claim in the tax year of the donation or following four tax years.

7. Gift Aid inspections

Be aware of the risks of making incorrect or invalid claims. HMRC risk assesses and checks Gift Aid claims either by visiting or asking for supporting evidence. HMRC allows a charity to try to correct the problem, for example seeking a replacement for a lost declaration. For uncorrected problems HMRC establishes a sample error rate by value, then extrapolates this over the entire claim under review – and possibly to all claims in the same year – and in the past four or six years and demands repayment and interest.
Contact Wilson Henry on 0151 264 8888 for more information

Property landlords, if you have an HMO… here’s what you must do


In simple terms, a house or flat is a HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) if it is occupied by three or more tenants who form two or more households and the tenants share some or all of the toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities. The requirement that the property have three or more storeys no longer applies after 1 October 2018.

A landlord of such a property must comply with the Management Regulations relating to HMOs. These are discussed below.

Licensing of large HMOs

A landlord of a large HMO must obtain a licence from the local housing authority to operate the HMO. More information about licensing can be found at or on the relevant local authority website.

Local housing authorities have the power to designate the whole or part of their district as subject to additional licensing of HMOs. This means that a licence is required for the types of HMO specified in the designation, not just those fitting the description of a large HMO. Additional licensing may be introduced to address problems caused by ineffective management of HMOs in the area.

Landlords should check with the local housing authority whether their HMO is affected by additional licensing. An application form will need to be completed and a fee paid. Usually an inspection will be carried out. Landlords should contact the local housing authority for further details and refer to the guidance at

Planning law and HMOs

Landlords of private rented housing, including HMOs, need to be aware of planning rules and make sure they comply with them.

A dwelling house in the occupation of a single household falls into Use Class C3 under the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended).

Use Class C4 covers use of a dwelling house by 3-6 residents as an HMO.

No planning permission is required for a change from C3 use to C4 use or vice versa.

NB: HMOs where more than 6 people live are not in any Use Class which means that planning permission is required for such use.

Management of HMOs

Landlords of HMOs, whether licensed or unlicensed, must comply with The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006. The Regulations can be viewed at

The Regulations cover the following matters.
• The “manager” is the person managing the HMO. This may be the landlord or another person such as an agent.

• Regulation 3 requires the manager to ensure that his/her name, address and any telephone contact number are made available to each household in the HMO and that these details are clearly displayed in a prominent position in the HMO.

• Regulation 4 requires the manager to take certain safety measures, including those relating to fire safety.

• Regulation 5 requires the manager to maintain the water supply and drainage system in good, clean and working condition.

• Regulation 6 relates to gas and electricity supplies. The manager must not unreasonably cause the gas or electricity supply to the HMO to be interrupted. The manager must also supply the local housing authority with gas appliance test certificates and electrical test certificates within 7 days of receiving a request from the authority.

• Regulation 7 contains the manager’s duty to maintain common parts, fixtures, fittings and appliances.

• Regulation 8 deals with the manager’s duty to maintain each unit of living accommodation in good and clean condition.

• Regulation 9 relates to the provision of waste facilities.

• Regulation 10 sets out the duties of occupiers of HMOs. It is useful to bring these duties to the attention of occupiers.

Minimum room sizes

With effect from 1 October 2018 licences granted for HMOs must include conditions requiring the licence holder to ensure that rooms used as sleeping accommodation have a specified minimum floor area. The required floor area varies according to the number and age of the occupiers as follows:

• sleeping accommodation for one person aged over 10 years: not less than 6.51 square metres
• sleeping accommodation for two persons aged over 10 years: not less than 10.22 square metres
• sleeping accommodation for one person aged under 10 years: not less than 4.64 square metres.

Failure to comply with these conditions is an offence attracting an unlimited fine. Local authorities also have the option of issuing a civil penalty notice of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution.

Household waste

For HMOs in England, a licence granted on or after 1 October 2018 must include conditions requiring the licence holder to comply with any scheme provided by the local housing authority relating to the storage and disposal of household waste at the HMO pending collection. As with other HMO conditions, landlords can be prosecuted for breaches.