Donations to Earthwatch, which are not in payment for an expedition, are considered charitable donations. There are ways in which you can make sure you maximise your gift’s potential by considering the most tax-effective way you can give.
Gift Aid is one of the simplest and most effective ways of giving to charity. It is a scheme introduced by HM Revenue & Customs which allows us to reclaim the basic rate tax you pay as a U.K. taxpayer. Currently that's at least an additional 25p for every £1 you give at absolutely no extra cost to you!
If you are a higher-rate taxpayer, we are able to claim the basic rate of tax on your donation. However, you are able to reclaim the additional difference yourself through your tax return, or you may choose to donate it back to Earthwatch by completing the information on your form. All you have to do is remember to include details of your charitable gifts on your tax form.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible to donate by Gift Aid, or want more information, visit HM Revenue & Customs or call their Gift Aid helpline at 0151 472 6038.
Donating your shares has never been easier. Since 6 April 2000, individuals can now get income tax relief in addition to the capital gains tax relief on gifts of shares or securities to charities. This means that as a donor you will get tax relief on the full market value of the shares at the date of sale or transfer. The shares can either be:
- Transferred into the name of Earthwatch using a stock transfer form, or
- Sold on behalf of the charity by the donor
In both cases, evidence of the transaction needs to be provided to the revenue on the donor’s annual tax return before tax relief can be applied.
For more information on share giving, visit Inland Revenue for an overview on giving land, buildings, shares, and securities to charity.
Donating through payroll giving is a tax-effective way to support our work. Because your donation is taken from your salary before tax is deducted, it costs you less and the Inland Revenue gives us the tax it would otherwise have kept.
To find out more about payroll giving through the Give As You Earn scheme, visit Inland Revenue.
LEAVING MONEY TO EARTHWATCH IN YOUR WILL
We know that your first priority when making a will is to provide for your loved ones, but many people find that even after they’ve done this they can leave something to a cause they hold dear.
Leaving Earthwatch a gift in your will is one of the most valuable and lasting ways you can support us. It costs nothing during your lifetime but can have a powerful impact for years to come.
Money that is left to Earthwatch in your will is paid before tax is deducted and therefore offers you a way of reducing the total amount of inheritance tax due from your estate. From 6 April 2012, any estate that leaves at least 10 per cent of its taxable wealth to a charitable cause will be able to take advantage of a reduced rate of inheritance tax from its normal level of 40 per cent down to 36 per cent.
What this means in practice is that the benefit to Earthwatch will be four times greater than the cost to the estate’s beneficiary, as HM Revenue & Customs will shoulder the burden of 76 pence for every pound donated, whereas the estate pays only 24 pence. For those people who are already planning to leave a legacy, the new rules result in a break-even level of 4 per cent (of taxable wealth)— i.e., there is no greater cost to the beneficiary if the estate donates 4 per cent or 10 per cent of its taxable wealth to charity.
WHERE TO GET FURTHER INFORMATION
We would advise all donors to seek independent advice when making major decisions relating to a personal financial and taxation situation. For further information see the following:
Earthwatch Institute (Europe) is the working name for the Conservation Education & Research Trust (CERT), a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (number 4373313) and a registered charity (number 1094467).
Registered office: Earthwatch, Mayfield House, 256 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7DE England.