Gift Aid

Everything you need to know about Gift Aid.

 What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is a government scheme that allows us to reclaim the basic rate tax you pay as a UK taxpayer.

It means that we can claim 25p of tax for every £1 you donate at no extra cost to you. All you need to do is make a Gift Aid declaration. 


How to make a Gift Aid declaration

There are three different ways you can make a Gift Aid declaration for cash donations:

  • Tick the Gift Aid box when you donate.
  • Fill in our online Gift Aid form.
  • Call 0300 456 1155 to make a declaration over the phone.

Once completed, please remember to let us know of any changes to your tax status, including changes to your name and address, so we can ensure that no further claims are made against your donations.


How to register for Gift Aid in person

You can also register for Gift Aid if you donate preloved items to your local British Red Cross shop. Please visit one of our shops to sign up and make a verbal declaration. At this time, we cannot register Gift Aid on stock via online or form sign-ups.


Which donations qualify for Gift Aid?

Gift Aid can be applied to all voluntary donations of money, large or small, providing they are made by an individual who pays sufficient UK tax.

Your declaration will cover all cash, cheque, postal order, Direct Debit, standing order and credit or debit card donations.

It will not be applied to donations received from tax efficient payment schemes. These include Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) payments or payroll gifts, as tax relief has already been claimed.


Do I qualify for Gift Aid?

To qualify for Gift Aid you need to:

  • be a UK taxpayer
  • have paid or expect to pay enough income or capital gains tax in the tax year your gift was received to cover all the Gift Aid donations you made to charity that year
  • make a Gift Aid declaration
  • ensure you paid enough tax to cover the donations you made in the previous four years if you are completing an enduring Gift Aid declaration (a declaration applied to future donations).

The basic rate of tax we claim is currently 20% on the gross value of your gift (that’s the same as 25% on the net).

You must remember to let us know if your tax status changes in the future, otherwise you could be liable for any shortfall.

For more help please visit the Gift Aid page on


Do I need to make a separate Gift Aid declaration to the British Red Cross to cover each tax year?

No, you only need to make a declaration once. We’ll keep this declaration as your enduring permission to claim Gift Aid tax relief on all donations. It will cover the previous four years, the current year and any donations you might make to us in the future.

If you haven’t paid tax to cover your past donations or you stop paying tax in the future, please let us know as soon as possible, otherwise we’ll keep on claiming and this could result in us receiving tax relief we’re not entitled to, which could have implications for you.

If you have any questions, contact us by emailing or calling 0300 456 1155.


What if I pay a higher rate of tax?

If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, we’re still only able to claim the basic rate of tax on your donation.

However, you can claim the difference between the 20% we claim and the tax you pay when you submit your annual tax return.


What if I stop paying tax? Can I withdraw the declaration?

You can cancel the declaration at any time by emailing your full name and address, including your postcode, to or by calling 0300 456 1155. Please do this as soon as possible


I’m a pensioner. Do my donations qualify?

Income from state pensions alone is unlikely to qualify as you’d need to earn above the personal allowance threshold to pay income tax.

If this is your only source of income, we advise that you check with your tax office before completing a declaration.


Is there any extra paperwork for me to complete?

No, but you may wish to keep a record of donations you make to charity in each tax year. This will help ensure that you continue to pay enough tax to cover the payments you make under Gift Aid.


Does my declaration cover all donations I’ve ever made to you?

We only have four years in which to claim the tax relief on your donations. If donations you’ve made go back further than four years, we’ll only apply the tax relief to donations within the allowed period.

Gift Aid your cash donations

You can do this by completing our online Gift Aid form, ticking the Gift Aid box when you donate or by getting in touch:


To request a paper form


0300 456 1155

To make an oral declaration (local rates apply)

Gift Aid on stock donated to charity shops


Can I use Gift Aid for items donated to charity shops?

Gift aid is only available on donations of money, but our shops can convert your donations of goods to cash. You can then choose to donate this and apply Gift Aid.

Just ask about Gift Aid when you take your donated goods into your local shop.

When you bring donations to your nearest British Red Cross shop:

  • ask the team about Gift Aid
  • keep a copy of the agreement
  • get your British Red Cross Gift Aid card, which will include your Donor ID number
  • present your Gift Aid card when you next donate goods.

If you’re already one of our Gift Aid donors, please print labels to attach to your donation, ready to drop off at your local shop. You can find your donor ID on your Gift Aid card.

As with all Gift Aid donations, we can only reclaim Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer who has paid sufficient tax in the tax year your gift was received. See full Terms and Conditions of the Agency Agreement for claiming Gift Aid on the sale of donated goods.

What is the role of Britcross in Gift Aid?

Britcross Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Red Cross and pays its taxable profits to the British Red Cross using Gift Aid.

If Britcross decides to sell your goods, it chooses the price of the goods and how they’ll be sold. If Britcross chooses not to sell your goods it will recycle them or dispose of them without notifying you. Britcross won’t return your unsold goods.

Britcross charges a total of 2.5% commission on proceeds from selling your goods on behalf of the British Red Cross. Britcross will notify you if there is an increase in this rate of commission.

The British Red Cross only claims Gift Aid tax relief on the net proceeds of your goods, minus the Britcross commission.


How does Gift Aid work on sales of your goods over £1,000 in a tax year?

Britcross acts as your sales agent. It donates the net proceeds of sale of your goods to the British Red Cross.

Britcross doesn’t have to tell you that it is making the donation, unless the value exceeds £1,000 in a tax year. If the value reaches more than £1,000, Britcross will contact you to ask for your consent to donate funds over that value.

You can tell us if you want to keep all or part of the proceeds over £1,000 and we’ll return the sum by cheque within 28 days if possible. You should let us know that you want Britcross to do this within 21 days of us writing to you, as we send the funds to the British Red Cross after that time.

If you choose to take the all or part of the proceeds above £1,000 this agency agreement will be stopped and you won’t be eligible to sell goods through Britcross. 

Contact us if you want an annual statement of the proceeds from the sale of your donated goods. We’ll send you the statement about the previous tax year at the start of a new tax year. Read the full terms and conditions on claiming Gift Aid on the sale of goods donated to the British Red Cross.


What are my responsibilities in the Gift Aid scheme?

You have to pay enough tax to cover all your donations made under Gift Aid in each tax year. You remain liable for capital gains tax, income tax and VAT if you sell significant quantities of goods.

It is also your sole responsibility if a buyer wants compensation for any of your goods that they bought.

We’ll contact you by email or letter about this agreement.

You can terminate this agreement at any time. Britcross can also terminate this agreement at any time. Read the full terms and conditions on claiming Gift Aid on the sale of goods donated to the British Red Cross.

How do I cancel my Gift Aid agreement with Britcross?

You can cancel either at any time by:

By cancelling your Gift Aid, you will be terminating the agency agreement. Read the full terms and conditions on claiming Gift Aid on the sale of goods donated to the British Red Cross.

More questions about Gift Aid on stock?

Write to:

British Red Cross, Princess Court, 23 Princess Street, Plymouth, PL1 2EX


01752 235 110