Gift Aid Donations to AAIIL(U.K.) Jamaat

by Dr. Zahid Aziz

The Light (UK), July 2005 Issue (p. 7)

In the Bulletin for April 2004, I had given details of a mechanism for making donations to the Jamaat online on a website as ‘Gift Aid’. This also had the benefit of increas­ing your donations by the amount of tax you had paid, if you are a U.K. taxpayer. When certain members used that website, they encountered some drawbacks. It takes a long time from the donation being made to the donation being received by the Jamaat. Also, these intermediary organizations charge a fee which reduces the extra amount added to the donation from the tax refund.

In view of these drawbacks, I explored the more direct method whereby the Jamaat applies to the Inland Revenue, making a ‘Charity Repayment Claim’ on behalf of its donors. You continue to donate directly to the Jamaat, as our members have always been doing, monthly as well as on special occasions. You also sign a simple ‘Gift Aid Declaration’ Form, copies of which we have produced and are available from the Jamaat. Then from time to time, as the nominated contact for the Jamaat, I apply to the Inland Revenue, submitting a tax repayment claim on the donations given to the Jamaat by U.K. taxpayers. For every £100 of donations that people make to the Jamaat, the Jamaat would receive a repayment of £28.20 from the Inland Revenue out of the donors’ taxes.

The regulations allow claims to be made on all donations given since April 2000. To set the system going, we made a claim for the donations of one member who had a record of his donations made in the past few years. A few weeks later, we received a cheque from the Inland Revenue made out to the A.A.I.I.L. (U.K.) for the sum of £923.71 — al-hamdu-lillah.

We now intend to make claims for other donations as far as possible. If you have a record of your donations to the Jamaat, extending as far back as possible, up to April 2000 at the earliest, please let us know. These of course must be donations made directly by you from your income after tax (i.e., not through any scheme such as GAYE which already would have given the tax benefit).

A lesson we can learn from this exercise is that with just a small amount of thought, time and effort much can be achieved. First, we need to keep on looking for, and thinking about, any possible ways in which the Jamaat can increase its resources and improve its functioning. Then those ideas must be brought forward and discussed, and viable plans drawn up. Unfortunately, most plans don’t go any further than the stage of talk. But once you get over that hurdle and start putting something into practice, instead of postponing it again and again, then good results become possible.