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Gift aid donation – have you paid enough tax ?

To work out if you’ve paid enough tax to cover your donations, divide the donation value by four.

For example, if you give £100 in a particular tax year you will need to have paid £25 tax over that period. (£100/4 = £25).

This calculation is based on the basic rate tax of 20 per cent

If you don’t think you’ve paid enough tax this year, you may be able to carry back your donation to the previous tax year.

Carrying back Gift Aid donations to the previous tax year

You can ask for Gift Aid donations to be treated as being paid in the previous tax year if you paid enough tax that year to cover both any Gift Aid gifts you made that year and the ones you want to backdate.

Your request to carry back the donation must be made before or at the same time as you complete your Self Assessment tax return for the previous year but no later than the filing deadline for the tax return.


Mr Jones makes a Gift Aid donation of £1,000 on 1 June 2011. He can either treat the donation as being for that current tax year (2011-12) or carry back the relief to the previous tax year (2010-11). As he paid enough tax last year to cover both last year’s donations and this one, he chooses to carry the relief back.

But if Mr Jones had already sent in his tax return for 2010-11, he would only be able to ask for the donation to be treated as Gift Aid for the year 2011-12.

He hasn’t yet completed a tax return for 2011-12, so he makes his carry back election and claim on that return and files it online before 31 January 2013.

Note – You can’t change a tax return in order to carry back a donation.