Gift Aid Declaration forms – the use of full names

Historically, HMRC only requested a first name initial rather than a full first name on gift aid declaration forms. This meant it was not possible for the authorities to distinguish between two people with the same surname. For example, if father and son John and James Smith live at the same address, their  Gift Aid declaration (GAD) forms present the same names and addresses. However, one may be a taxpayer while the other is not; the non-taxpayer would not be eligible for Gift Aid and this would be incorrectly claimed by the charity.

Now charities are required to collate full names for a valid GAD form.

HMRC  have published guidance in a chapter relating to GAD forms, stating that the declaration must:

  • state the donor’s full name and home address
  • name the charity
  • identify the gift or gifts to which the declaration relates (for example, a particular donation or all donations)
  • confirm that the identified gift or gifts are to be treated as Gift Aid donations further states: “If HMRC finds the details on a declaration are not enough to trace the donor, they may ask the charity to get more information to check the claim. If the charity fails to get this information, it’s likely that the declaration will be considered invalid.

We would recommend that charities ask donors at regular intervals, possibly every 2 years, to check the personal details held. Any request like this would have to be GDPR compliant.”

The full name allows HMRC to be able to match the details on GAD forms with people’s tax records, and to confirm if the donor has paid enough tax to cover the amount of Gift Aid claimed by the charity.

It is worth noting that if a donor moves and thus changes their address, the GAD form is still valid although it would be sensible to keep the new address details alongside the GAD to track the change in address.

Should you have any questions regarding GAD forms, or would like to speak to one of our experts on other related matters, use the form below to contact our Charities team.

[Article updated 4 January 2024 to reflect current government guidance.]

We always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser before taking any action. The information in this article only serves as a guide and no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.


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