Charitable giving – doing it right

Post by Mearns & Company in News

The war in Ukraine has prompted many people to donate to charities helping those affected. Various schemes are available to boost the value of your charitable donations.

Gift aid

Charities can claim back basic rate tax on donations, meaning for every £1 you give the charity gets £1.25. You need to be a UK taxpayer to use this scheme. Higher rate and additional rate payers can also reclaim the tax they have paid on this donation through self-assessment. This can effectively lower the net income on which their tax is calculated, which can be beneficial for those earning just over £50,000 who pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge.

It isn’t just national charities like DEC, Cancer Research or Trussell Trust that use gift aid. If you make a voluntary donation (of at least 10%) on top of the standard ticket price to many museums and art galleries, then the total value of your purchase can benefit from gift aid. You can also use gift aid when buying an annual membership or to these organisations.

Give as you earn

Some companies allow employees to make regular donations to charity direct from their gross salary, exempting these donations from tax, although they are subject to National Insurance contributions.

Charitable legacies

If you leave a charitable donation or legacy in your will, it won’t be included within your estate when calculating inheritance tax. What’s more, if you bequeath at least 10% of your net estate to charity, any IHT due is charged at 36% rather than 40%.

Share gifting

Shares donated to charity are not subject to capital gains tax (CGT). The value will also be deducted from your taxable income, potentially reducing income tax. If a charity can’t accept shares directly you can sell them on their behalf, again avoiding CGT, although you will need an instruction from the charity.


The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax, Wills or estate planning advice. The levels and bases of taxation and tax reliefs are subject to change and their value depends on individual circumstances. Tax laws can change.

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