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FAQs about Gift Aid

How does FinDock set the donation date for a Gift Aid claim?

The donation date used in a Gift Aid submission should reflect the actual date a charity received the donated amount. This date needs to fall within the validity period of the donor's Gift Aid Declaration for the charity for Gift Aid to be claimable.

The following outlines how this date is handled by FinDock.

  • HMRC “donation date” = Installment Last Collection Date
    NOTE: Prior to July '22 release, Installment Due Date was used for donation date.
  • If an installment has multiple payments, the Collection Date from the most recent payment record is used as Last Collection Date.
  • The FinDock Gift Aid Eligibility formula requires the Last Collection Date to fall within the Gift Aid Declaration validity period-
    • If Last Collection Date is empty, FinDock falls back to Due Date.
    • If the Due Date is within the Gift Aid Declaration validity period, but Last Collection Date is not, the installment is not eligible for Gift Aid.

The Collection Date on payment records is set in different ways depending on the Bacs Direct Debit processor:

  • Adyen: eventDate if supplied in the notification, otherwise
  • Stripe: from inbound report
  • Worldpay:
    • For one-time online donation, from the inbound report
    • For recurring donations, Collection Date of related payment schedule
  • FinDock: Collection Date from related payment schedule
  • SmartDebit: Collection Date from related payment schedule

How does FinDock handle the time limit for Gift Aid claims and reversals?

New Gift Aid installments are only created if the original (receivable) installment conforms to all eligibility requirements, including the current fiscal year minus four years time limit set by HMRC. This time limit is automatically checked by FinDock as part of the eligibility assessment.

Gift Aid claims that are flagged for reversal, meaning the Gift Aid installments are given the status Pending Reversal, already exist in the org, so FinDock does not perform the time limit check. In the vast majority of cases, donations and related Gift Aid actions occur well within the max. 5 year timeframe set by HMRC rules.

If a very old donation is refunded due to unusual circumstances or you migrate old donation and Gift Aid data that may trigger a claim reversal, you can, for example, manually update the status of Gift Aid claims flagged for reversal as part of the next Gift Aid claim process.

How to see if I claimed Gift Aid on an installment?

The Gift Aid Claimed field (gaid__GiftAid_Claimed__c) on receivable installments indicates if Gift aid has already been collected for that particular installment.

If a payment schedule passes FinDock’s Data Quality rules, can the submission still be rejected by HMRC?

Yes. FinDock makes sure to submit valid files, but an org can have the wrong charity registration number, for example. FinDock ensures the required data is present and in the right format, but it cannot ensure the data is correct.

What happens if there is a connection failure to HMRC during the submission process?

The process fails and the claim submission is cancelled. Restart the claim process to retry the submission.

What if a donor gives a declaration for a single donation?

Single declarations are implemented as any other Gift Aid declaration, but they have a start and end date on the same day. This means only donations processed for that donor on that particular day are included in the Gift Aid claim.

What are the claim limits for Gift Aid submissions?

HMRC imposes a hard limit for 500,000 individual claims per submission. This is a technical limit in the online submission process that cannot be exceeded. However, based on our experience with customers, there is noticeable performance degradation in submissions with over 350,000 claims. Therefore, we have defined a safe limit of 250,000 as the default value in the Gift Aid for FinDock extension settings.

Unless you are a large charity or have a very large backlog of donations to process, FinDock’s default claim limit is well above what most charities need.

How do I know if a payment schedule exceeds the claim limit for a single submission?

Currently there is no specific notification informing you if there are eligible installments that don’t make it into a given Gift Aid run because you’ve reached your claim limit. In most cases, you won’t be anywhere near the limit. However, if you suspect might be close, or you are a very large charity that regularly submits large numbers of claims, the best thing to do is check the number of related Gift Aid installments on the schedule.

If the number of related installments matches your limit, you should probably run another schedule to pick up the remaining eligible installments in a second submission. If you plan on running several schedules because you know ahead of time that there are more claims than your limit allows, just make sure to run the schedules one at a time, and don’t start the next schedule until the prior one is done.

Why are there so many files from Gift Aid submissions in Chatter?

By default, FinDock only uploads your submission file (itself a collection of files) and the HMRC receipt file to Chatter. However, if you enable uploading all files (on your Gift Aid target configuration), every file exchanged with HMRC is uploaded to Chatter. The full set of files is extensive and highly technical. These are generally not needed, but they are made available for your convenience if you have, for example, specific archiving requirements.

How do I exclude certain installments from Gift Aid?

Use the Exclude From Gift Aid checkbox on the installment. When this is checked (true), FinDock ignores the installment when checking for eligible installments. It is important to understand that FinDock treats all installments in a given org as potentially eligible for Gift Aid. When you install the Gift Aid extension, a number of fields are added to the Installment object that allow FinDock to determine eligibility. One of these fields is the exclude checkbox which you can use to tell FinDock to ignore the installment. For example, if you are migrating old installments that have already been processed for Gift Aid, you should include this field (gaid__Exclude_from_GiftAid__c = true) in the migration to ensure FinDock does not make duplicate claims. The same goes for payment data coming from external platforms where Gift Aid has already been claimed for you.