Gift Aid on charitable donations has risen by 4.2 per cent

HM Revenue & Customs data shows Gift Aid totalled £1.06bn in the year ending April 2011

Gift Aid on charitable donations rose by 4.2 per cent to £1.06bn in the tax year ending 5 April 2011, according to HM Revenue & Customs figures published this week.

The amount of Gift Aid claimed increased from just under £1.02bn in 2009/10, the data shows.

HMRC received about 64,600 Gift Aid claims, compared with 68,300 in the previous year, of which 47,000 were for amounts under £5,000.

The Gift Aid figure included the last year of transitional relief designed to help charities cope with the effect on Gift Aid of the reduction in the basic rate of income tax in 2008. Final figures on the value of transitional relief are not yet available, but it was worth £105m in 2009/10.

The total amount donated through payroll giving also rose, to £114m from £106m in 2009/10. However, the total number of donors fell to 720,000 from 724,000, down for the third successive year from a high of 758,000 in the year ending 5 April 2008.

The amount of tax relief attracted through payroll giving was estimated at £30m, but the actual figure is likely to be higher because HMRC rounds tax relief to the nearest £10m.

Janet Forster, chair of the Association of Payroll Giving Associations, said the rise showed that payroll giving was continuing to move forward.

"This shows payroll giving has weathered the recession relatively well," she said. "You would expect the number of donors to fall during the recession, but those who've remained in work seem to have raised their game and given more."

She said a campaign to increase the profile of payroll giving would be launched later this year.

Louise Richards, director of policy and campaigns at the Institute of Fundraising, welcomed the increase in Gift Aid income.

"This shows that the mechanism still delivers benefit to our sector as an independent and largely unrestricted income stream that can be democratically accessed by all registered charities in the UK," she said.

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