In the 2011 Budget, the Chancellor announced that HMRC would introduce a new online service to enable charities to submit Gift Aid repayment claims electronically. On 30 November 2012, HMRC formally announced that it plans to launch the new service, Charities Online, in April 2013.
From January 2013, the HMRC website will provide more information about the new ways of making claims. In February and March HMRC will write to the current authorised officials of charities about the new system, and let them know how soon charities will need to start using one of the three new claim methods.
Charities Online will replace the current R68(i) print and post repayment form. There will be three options for making claims.
Option 1 - claim online
The online claim form will have mandatory fields to complete. Information will be validated as it is entered to ensure that it is in the correct format. Once complete, the claim will be submitted automatically to HMRC without the need to print and post. Donor details will be attached as a spreadsheet to the claim; details of up to 1,000 Gift Aid donors can be submitted with each claim and there will be no limit on the number of claims that can be submitted. A downloadable spreadsheet template will be available via HMRC’s website from April.
Option 2 - claim online using external software
An online ‘software developers route’ will allow charities to file very large claims online (up to 500,000 Gift Aid donors in any one day). If this route is chosen, compatible software will need to be developed in-house or purchased from a third party software provider.
Option 3 - claim using a paper form
For those charities which do not have access to the internet, a new paper repayment claim form will be available, the ChR1. Details of up to 90 Gift Aid donors can be listed on each paper claim and there will be no limit to the number of claims that can be submitted. The information in the paper form will need to be completed by hand, with each letter entered in an individual box to allow HMRC to scan the information when received. The existing R68(i) form cannot be used and neither can photocopies of the new paper form be used to make repeat claims. Paper forms will be available by order from HMRC in April 2013.
The minimum information for each donor (first name or initials, last name, house name/number and postcode) already required for Gift Aid claims will still need to be submitted as part of the Charities Online system.
Detailed information is available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/charities/online/index.htm
For further information, please contact charities partner Sarah Morrison on +44 (0)20 7516 2266 or email firstname.lastname@example.org