Gift Aid frequently asked questions

Our Gift Aid FAQs should answer any general questions you may have about the Gift Aid scheme. If you have a particular question, relating to your Gift Aid declaration with us, please contact us. For further information about retail Gift Aid, click here.

How does Gift Aid work?

Gift Aid is one of the easiest ways to make a donation tax efficient. The Octavia Foundation reclaims the basic rate of tax from HMRC. There is no extra cost to the supporter and the process is very simple, so long as you are a UK taxpayer, you just need to complete a Gift Aid declaration, either online or in person in one of our charity shops in London

What is a Gift Aid declaration?

A Gift Aid declaration is your statement (as an individual tax payer) to the Octavia Foundation, confirming that you want us to treat any funds raised by the sale of goods donated to us as a donation, and to claim tax back from HMRC on the donation.

Do I qualify to be a Gift Aid donor?

The Gift Aid scheme is only open to individual donors (not companies or groups) and you must be a UK taxpayer. The amount of tax that you pay annually must exceed the amount of tax that the Octavia Foundation will reclaim in the same financial year. 

How do I know if I pay income of capital gains tax?

You pay tax if:

  • income tax is taken from your wages or salary before you receive your pay
  • you pay tax after filling in a self-assessment form each year
  • you have any taxable savings (in a Building Society, for instance), or a pension plan or investment income
  • you have paid any capital gains tax, on the sale of property or some shares for instance

N.B. Inheritance tax does not count as UK income or capital gains tax.

What if I pay tax in another country?

Unless you pay tax in the UK, then unfortunately you are not able to make a Gift Aid declaration. You will still be able to make donations of goods to the Octavia Foundation charity shops, and we will be very grateful to receive them.

I am a pensioner, can I make a Gift Aid declaration?

If you pay tax on your pension or any savings that you have, or if you pay capital gains tax on any property or investment sales, you are eligible to make a Gift Aid donation to the Octavia Foundation.

I am a higher rate tax payer, can I make a Gift Aid declaration?

The Octavia Foundation can only directly claim back at the basic rate but higher rate tax payers can still sign up to the Gift Aid scheme, using the same declaration form.

However, as a higher rate taxpayer, if you declare your charitable donations on your annual tax return, you may be able to claim a rebate based on the difference between the higher rate and the basic rate. 

Since 2004, the self-assessment allows you to nominate a charity to receive any rebate that the supporter is due.  In this instance, HMRC will pass the repayment directly to your nominated charity.

I am a lower rate tax payer, am I eligible for the Gift Aid scheme?

Yes! If you pay a lower rate of tax you are still able to gift aid your donations to our charity shops. The Octavia Foundation can still claim back 25p for each £1's worth of goods that you donate, provided that they pay enough tax to cover the claim in the tax year they make the gift(s).    

Why does it work out at 25 pence for every £1 given?

Although basic rate tax is currently 20%, a donation of £1 is treated as the net after tax from £1.25 (£1.25 less 20% is approximately £1).

How long does the declaration last for?

Our declaration covers present and future donations since the introduction of Gift Aid, as long as the donation qualifies and the supporter is an eligible UK tax payer.

What if my tax status changes or I want to cancel my declaration?

You will need to write to us at our head office address to notify us of these changes.