The Gift Aid scheme is a Government based initiative for chosen charities to increase the value of donations by repaying the income tax paid back to the charity providing certain conditions have been met, the envelope used by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Down must be completed in full.
On receipt of the envelope the Lodge Steward of Charities and Treasurer will fill in a Gift Aid list, and forward this, as well as the empty envelopes, together with a cheque for the total donated in all the envelopes, to the Gift Aid Treasurer of his District Charity Committee. Copies of these lists should be kept for the Lodge records.
The District Charity Committee must keep all these records, including the empty envelopes, for a minimum period of seven years in case of Income Tax audit.
In the tax year 2011-2012, 25 pence in the pound is returned to the chosen charity so your pound in this instance is worth £1.25. This is a worthwhile amount to claim, making your donation go that much further, the Inland revenue have made Gift Aid a simpler option than the previous covenanting system.
The Northern Ireland Charity Commission is in existance but some of their legal powers will not until later and then the rules may be amended. Registration will hopefully start in the Autumn of 2013.
Further information may be found at the following web sites: