Gift Aid is a vital way to boost funds for our parish, at no extra cost to anyone! This is our parish, so we all have a responsibility to be good stewards of it. And good stewardship includes making sure that the parish can get all the money offered to it by the government.
It’s not often the government gives us money back, but this is what Gift Aid is about. If you are a taxpayer and you give some of your income to the church, the government does not want the tax on that part of your income – the government wants to give it to the church instead. So anyone who gives money to the parish, and is also a tax payer, should boost their giving by authorising the parish to reclaim this income tax.
Here’s an example of how it works. Suppose in one year you give £100 to the parish. The parish gets £100 and very grateful it is too! But if you put all your donations in Gift Aid envelopes during the year, the parish gets an extra £25. This is just by claiming back from the government the tax you paid on this part of your income. It does not matter whether you give the same amount each week, or varying amounts, or sometimes nothing at all. The important thing is that all your donations are placed in Gift Aid envelopes, to show they are given by a tax payer – the parish can only claim back the tax on whatever you put in a Gift Aid envelope.
To start helping the parish in this way, all you have to do is complete a simple form which asks for your name and contact details and signature. Blank forms are available in the church porch. When completed, please return it to the presbytery, next to the church, or give it to one of the welcome ministers at a Sunday Mass. All information is treated in the strictest confidence and will not be passed on to anyone else. No one else will contact you.
If you join, you will receive a letter or phone call within a week or so, to confirm that you have been registered for Gift Aid and to arrange for you to be given your own little box of envelopes. You must then use these envelopes for all your donations.
If you prefer to donate a fixed amount every month and don’t wish to bother with Gift Aid envelopes, you also have the option to make your donations by standing order from your bank account. There is a supplementary form for this, where you can give your bank details.