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Claiming VAT and Gift Aid

We want you to be aware of tax exemptions available to charities and to people with disabilities, and complete VAT exemption certificates and Gift Aid claims where possible.

See Group Handbook B4: Managing your finances

  1. Our VAT registration
  2. VAT exemptions available to groups
  3. Vehicles and fuel
  4. VAT exemptions available to people with disabilities
  5. Gift Aid
  6. Need support?

Our VAT registration

The MS Society has a single VAT registration number - 106 2344 53.

Our charitable status means that some goods and services are VAT free, or charged at a reduced tax rate. In some cases a VAT exemption certificate will need to be completed by your Finance Volunteer to avoid paying VAT.

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VAT exemptions available to groups

Your group should not pay VAT on advertising or fundraising items (such as pre-printed collection boxes and envelopes).

Some forms of printed materials are also VAT free. You don’t need to complete a certificate to avoid paying VAT on printed materials.

Leaflets and newsletters

Leaflets and newsletters must meet these criteria to be VAT free:

  • Provides information
  • Not larger than A4 size
  • Designed to be held in the hand for reading by individuals
  • Complete (not a part work)
  • For general distribution (at least 50 copies)
  • Printed on standard weight paper (i.e., not on card)

Items that are not VAT free

  • Calendars
  • Admission tickets
  • Items for completion (area more than 25%) or return
  • Posters
  • Stationery (letterhead paper, envelopes, etc.)
  • Photocopying

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Vehicles and fuel

A motor vehicle that has been substantially and permanently adapted to carry at least one wheelchair user can be purchased without paying VAT.

You can also obtain fuel and power at a reduced VAT rate of 5%, and you are exempt from paying the Climate Change Levy.

You may need to charge VAT when selling a vehicle. Contact our Finance Support Team for advice before confirming any sale.

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VAT exemptions available to people with disabilities

People with disabilities should not have to pay VAT on the following:

  • Adjustable beds, chairlifts, hoists and sanitary devices
  • Medical and surgical appliances
  • Emergency call systems
  • Building works
  • Motor vehicles
  • Parts and accessories
  • Repair and maintenance of goods
  1. See Group Handbook B4: Managing your finances for details of VAT exemptions available to people with disabilities

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Gift Aid

Gift Aid allows charities to claim back money from HMRC for donations from UK tax payers.

Your Finance Volunteer is responsible for claiming Gift Aid on eligible income received directly from donors and supporters.

Eligible income

We can only claim Gift Aid on eligible income. This includes funds that:

  1. Download a Gift Aid Declaration Form
  2. Download a Gift Aid Declaration confirmation letter
  3. Download an MS Society Sponsor Form

What you can claim Gift Aid on

  • General donations paid directly to your group
  • Membership subscriptions paid directly to your group
  • Sponsorship income from individuals
  • ‘In memory’ donations from known individuals
  • Regular bank credits or direct debits

What you can’t claim Gift Aid on

  • Funds received over 4 years ago
  • Funds received centrally and transferred to your cash pooling account
  • Collection boxes
  • Raffle tickets
  • Anonymous donations
  • Income where the donor has received goods or services in return for a donation
  • Trading income
  • Legacies
  • Overseas gifts
  • Gifts from charitable companies
  • Grants

Your HMRC registration

Unlike VAT where we all share one registration, your group must have its own Charities Reference Number issued by HMRC to claim Gift Aid.

  1. Contact our Finance Support Team for help to set this up if your group hasn’t claimed Gift Aid before.

  2. To update your group or authorised user details, complete online form ChV1 on the HMRC website.

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Need support?

Online Accounting

You must use Online Accounting to record Gift Aid.

  1. Find out more about Using Online Accounting

Finance Support Team

Contact our Finance Support Team with any VAT queries, to request the appropriate VAT exemption certificate, or for help to claim Gift Aid.

  1. Get contact details for our Finance Support Team

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