Gift Aid

St John Vianney Roman Catholic Parish, Cheshire

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is the government’s scheme that enables charities and donors to reclaim tax on charitable giving. St. John Vianney’s Parish is a registered charity so we are able to claim tax back from HM Revenue & Customs.

So what does it mean?

Gift aid works by allowing charities to reclaim tax on the ‘gross’ equivalent of the donation (i.e. it’s value before tax was deducted) at the basic rate, which is currently 20%. To put £1 into the collection, you will have earned £1.25 and paid 25p (this is 20% of £1.25) in tax before you had it to spend, or donate

In practice, this means that every £1 you donate using Gift Aid, the Church can claim an additional 25p from HMRC, and so get £1.25 from your donation without it costing you any more than £1.

How does it work?

You make a ‘Gift Aid declaration’ to the Church, in writing, and the Church can then reclaim the tax you have paid. There has to be a record of what you give, so we ask you to use the Gift Aid envelopes for cash & cheques, or give by direct debit. The declaration will cover everything you give.

What does it cost me?

It costs you absolutely nothing! You are giving to the Church anyway, this simply asks the Government to redirect to the Church some of the tax you have paid to them.

What if you pay the tax at the higher rate?

If you pay tax at the higher rate, you can inform HMRC – on your tax return, usually – and they will pay you the difference between the higher rate tax and that which the Parish has reclaimed. The idea is that you can then pass this over to the Parish, but that is entirely up to your conscience. The Parish will not know whether or how much has been refunded and HMRC will not know what you do with it. If you are a higher rate tax payer, contact your tax advisor or HMRC.

What happens if I stop paying enough tax?

Simply ask the Parish office to cancel your declaration. If you don’t, then you could be sent a bill by the Inland Revenue for any tax claimed by the Church that you have not paid. If in future you start paying sufficient tax again, you can make a new declaration.

What should I do now for the Church to benefit from my tax?

If you feel able and do not already, please think about setting up gift aid for your church donations. Peter Jones is happy to help with enquiries on Gift Aid, Planned Giving and Standing orders. His contact number is given below.

Gift Aid and Planned Giving:

  • St. Wilfrid’s – Peter Jones 01606 781707
  • St. Bede’s – Jim Rafferty 01606 853774
  • Our Lady’s – John Philips

Diocesan Overseer – Mike Russell – 0151 652 9855 or

You can also visit the Shrewsbury Diocesan Planned Giving and Gift Aid website for further information: click here