A bridge club with a turnover of less than £5000 per annum cannot register with the Charity Commission as a Charity. Such a club can, however, register with HM Revenue and Customs to be treated as a charity for the purposes of Gift Aid on annual club subscriptions or any donations to the club. Once registered the club can claim Gift Aid refunds for anyone who pays Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax provided they have completed and signed a Declaration Form. Note that there are no reporting criteria or meaningful restrictions on you if you register in this way. If your turnover is greater than £5,000 pa on a regular basis then you should register with the Charity Commission which is also straightforward.
The process to register with HMRC for is very straightforward and should be easily completed by someone with reasonable computer skills.
Download LibreOffice (Open Source software) and then download a blank schedule from the HMRC website. This contains 11 blank pages but you will probably only need 1 or 2 of these depending on how many people you can claim for so you will want to only print the appropriate number of pages.
Fill in the data requested, LibreOffice is very similar to Excel, though a bit slower.
It is important to format your data correctly on the spreadsheet as any errors will cause a rejection. However, the error messages are helpful in making any corrections.
When you save your completed schedule use a meaningful name such as: ABBC 2014 claim 1 and remember where you saved it to. Now go to the HMRC website, and go to make a claim and upload your completed schedule. Just follow the screens and the only difficult question is are you a Corporate Trustee? Answer NO. The schedule will now be checked for format errors and you will be prompted to correct them until you get it right.
You can claim at any time. So, for example, you don't have to wait for stragglers before making the bulk of your claim. There is no limit to the number of claims you may make, but any one claim may only contain entries from one of your tax years.
Note that, strangely, when you receive the payment (usually about a week later and paid straight into the club's bank account) it may actually be a few pence greater than you were expecting. This will be because of a little interest having been added.
Responsible Person = other Committee Members who can later authorise changes.
HMRC's FAQ list is very helpful. Their helpdesk is also extremely helpful, but it may take up to 20 minutes of holding on before you get to speak to someone!
GiftAid declaration form - http://www.ebu.co.uk/documents/miscellaneous/gift-aid-declaration-2014.doc
If you have any queries please contact EBU Club Liaison Officer, Andrew Urbanski, on 01296 317 206 or at email@example.com