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Changes to the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) are due to come into play in the new tax year (8 April), having gained royal assent in parliament.

The new Small Charitable Donations and Childcare Payments Act will make it easier for smaller charities to raise more cash, by relaxing several rules which previously made it difficult for new organisations to claim Gift Aid on small cash donations.

Several changes are due to come into force, including allowing newly formed charities to access the scheme. Rules which mean charities must have been registered for at least 2 years before being able to access the scheme are to be scrapped and the requirement that charities must have made a successful Gift Aid claim in 2 of the last 4 years are also to be removed.

Regulations surrounding ‘community building’ are to be relaxed, which will enable charities to claim relief on multiple tranches of donations if they raise money in a particular building. In theory, this will allow smaller subsidiary charities that are part of bigger networks to claim their own relief instead of being bound by a national restriction.

Moreover, despite not covering cheque or text donations, the scheme will now cover contactless donations.

Despite many describing it as a barrier, charities are still required to claim £1 of gift aid for every £10 under GASDS. As a result organisations, including NCVO, the Charity Finance Group and the Charity Tax Group have said more could be done to improve the bill.

Set up in 2013, the GASDS scheme allows registered charities to claim a similar relief to Gift Aid, resulting in up to £8,000 of small cash donations (£20 or less) per year not requiring paperwork for each individual claim.

There has been much criticism of the scheme, primarily due to the fact that the amount of Gift Aid being claimed by charities has fallen significantly short of the £100m per year originally predicted.

How Haines Watts help your charity?

As specialist charity accountants, Haines Watts North East can help charities come to terms with these new changes while helping you to make the most of your finances.

With offices in Newcastle and Darlington, Haines Watts cover the whole of the North East and provide accounting and audit services to some of the region’s best-known charities.

So if you’re looking for a charity accountant in Newcastle or the North East region, get in touch with Gillian Hollier to find out more about how Haines Watts could benefit your organisation.

Want to know more? Call us on 0191 2699 960 or email

About the author

Donna Bulmer

With over 20 years’ experience, Donna is Managing Partner in the North East. Having facilitated the growth of the region’s two offices and almost doubled turnover over a four year period, she is now helping to drive national strategy through her position on the Haines Watts board. As well as advising growing owner-managed businesses, Donna spends a great deal of her time working with voluntary sector organisations and, as such, is one of the leading voices for the not-for-profit sector in the Haines Watts group. She is a strong advocate of social issues and diversity in the workplace, and is using her board position to help businesses understand the importance of corporate social responsibility. On top of this, she is a Trustee and Treasurer for local charity Streetwise Young Peoples Project and sits on the Finance Sub-committee of national charity Changing Lives.

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