Registered Charity No. 286808

 GiftAid – A Brief Explanation

December 2011 (revised March 2015)


Executive Summary

  1. The GiftAid Scheme can make your subscriptions worth 25% more to us – at no extra cost to you.
  1. If you are a UK taxpayer, you simply sign the GiftAid Declaration on the Enrolment Form each term and we will do the rest. If you do not pay UK tax, then please do not leave the Declaration blank but write "Not Applicable" in the space for your signature.


  1. Under the GiftAid Scheme, any donation to a charity by a UK taxpayer is eligible for tax relief in the hands of the charity. This means that as a Registered Charity we can claim from the taxman (HMRC) a refund of the basic rate tax which has notionally been paid by our members on the equivalent amount of their subscriptions.  Although membership subscriptions are not normally regarded as "donations" because they provide members with a benefit, HMRC allow a concession for music charities by which part of their subscriptions can be eligible for a GiftAid claim.  This is a valuable concession which assists us to achieve our charitable objectives.

The Present Scheme

  1. From September 2011 the part which relates to any provision of tuition is a separate ineligible fee (because it represents a benefit to members). For us this has been agreed at 7.66% of choir subscriptions.  In effect, this means that you pay two separate amounts:  7.66% of your payment is a tuition fee (non-claimable), and the balance of 92.34% is a donation (claimable) by way of membership subscription.
  1. We cannot claim GiftAid on the fees for the personal tuition classes (ie the Vocal Technique, Learn to Read Music, Musicianship and any other classes we may arrange) or for the sale of rehearsal CDs because they clearly represent a benefit to members.

The Effect on You

  1. For basic rate taxpayers the above can usually be ignored. Just ensure that in each tax year you pay Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax at least equal to the amount we can reclaim from HMRC (currently 25p for each £ donated, as defined in para 4 above).  This includes any tax, whether on earnings, deposit interest, dividends, or pensions (including state pensions).  For example, paying £285 (£95 x 3) for a year's subscriptions to the Oratorio Choir means that 92.34% (£263.17) of it is the donation element.  We can reclaim tax at 25% (£65.79) of that, so you need to have paid tax of at least £65.79 in that tax year.  You do not need to enter your subscriptions on any Tax Return you make.
  1. But if you are a higher-rate taxpayer, you can obtain further tax relief by including the subscription element (as defined in para 4 above) in your Tax Return. This will be the above percentage (92.34%) of your subscription to the four choirs (not to the classes), but you should seek advice from an accountant or tax adviser for your particular circumstances.
  1. The Declaration on your Enrolment Form will be valid indefinitely, but if your circumstances change and you no longer pay sufficient tax in a tax year, you must cancel it - either by writing to us, or by indicating the change on each term's Enrolment Form.
  1. I will gladly answer any queries by email or telephone.

E&OE [V5, March 2015]

Tony Benbow, Treasurer.

020 8995 8666 or