Currently around 10% of St Mary Magdalen’s annual income comes from Gift Aid, the government scheme whereby we are able to reclaim tax at the basic rate of 20% paid by all those parishioners who have signed up to the scheme.
This means that for every £1 that you give under the scheme we are able to claim back a further 25p from HMRC with absolutely no cost to yourself.
Unfortunately our offertory collection has been steadily declining over the last few years and now stands at around £25,000 per annum. Ideally this needs to be nearer to £30,000 to enable us to properly maintain and improve our buildings whether it be the church, presbytery or the hall which is increasingly in need of substantial investment to bring it up to modern day standards. To help the parish close that gap we need to look at ways of increasing our income.
As far as the offertory collection is concerned there are 2 ways in which we can do this:
(1) By asking you to consider increasing your weekly offering, even a small amount can make quite a difference over a year and /or
(2) By Gift Aiding what you already give.
The amount of the offertory collection not gift aided currently totals around £15,000 per year and although we are able to claim back some tax on this there is still a substantial proportion on which we cannot. This represents additional income that the tax man would be more than willing to pay us if you signed a Gift Aid Declaration, copies of which can be found in the church porch or you can download one yourself here.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the the Gift Aid scheme:
What is Gift Aid?
Gift Aid is a tax relief allowing charities to reclaim the tax already paid on every eligible donation made by a UK taxpayer. So for every £1 that is given under the Gift Aid scheme, we are able to claim back a further 25p. A £1 donation is therefore worth £1.25 to us and a £5 donation is worth £6.25 to us.
What Do I Have to Do?
If you are a UK taxpayer and pay income tax and/or capital gains tax each year at least equal to the amount that can be claimed back on your donation, then all you have to do is sign a Gift Aid Declaration and you will be given a box of envelopes in which to put your weekly offering. Alternatively, and preferably, you can set up a standing order with your bank.
Does This Mean I Have to Give the Same Amount Every Week?
No, the old system whereby you had to covenant to give a certain amount each week no longer exists. You can now choose to give as much or little as you can afford, obviously the more you give the better it is for our income!
If I Sign Up Am I Under Obligation to Give Every Week?
Again the answer is no, if you are unable to attend mass or feel that you can’t afford to give that week then you are not under any obligation to do so.
If I Set Up a Standing Order From My Bank Account Can Gift Aid Still Be Claimed On My Offering?
Yes, you just have to sign the Gift Aid Declaration.
What Donations to the Church can be Gift Aided?
Only outright donations are eligible to be counted in your total giving, and this includes Mass offerings. Purchases for things like votive candles, repository items or newspapers cannot count nor can things like raffle tickets, or 150 Club subscriptions.
How Do I Sign Up To The Gift Aid Scheme?
There are forms on the table in the church porch. Please take one and when completed return to either the priest or any member of the Finance Committee who are always available if you have any further questions or would like to discuss any aspect of the scheme.
If you would like to join, please complete a declaration form, and hand the completed form to Fr Paul, Fr Luke or a member of the Finance Committee.