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HMRC confirm procedure on end of year Gift Aid letters due to Covid-19 Coronavirus

HMRC's stance on the end of year Gift Aid letter deadline in view of Covid-19 Coronavirus restrictions
HMRC’s stance on the end of year Gift Aid letter deadline in view of Covid-19 Coronavirus restrictions

Many of our clients have contacted us as they’re worried about meeting HMRC’s deadline for sending out annual Gift Aid letters, given the current situation regards the Covid-19 Coronavirus. As a result of the virus many Charities have the bulk of or all of their staff working from home, and many have also been furloughed until such time as charity retailers are allowed to begin trading again.

Until now there had been no confirmation from HMRC on whether the rules would be relaxed in light of the fact that it would be technically very difficult for charities to comply with the deadline. Tengo have spoken to the Retail Gift Aid and Digital Donations Lead at HMRC Charities, and have had it confirmed that it will be acceptable for charities to send out the letters ‘as soon as they possibly can’, and that in light of the current situation, the deadline is therefore flexible. Here’s the full official response that we have in writing from HMRC:

“Clearly, whilst our guidance at paragraph 3.42.15 states “End of tax year letters’ are compulsory for charities operating the retail Gift Aid process using Method A and Method B. In both cases the individual must always be sent a summary of the net proceeds raised from the sale of their goods for the tax year by 31 May each year. However, if the donor’s total donations in a given year are less than £20, a letter only needs to be issued once every three years.” – what we are all having to cope with is totally unprecedented and if charity staff are following COVID-19 guidelines, working from home and self-isolating they presumably will not be issuing end of year letters and as such may not hit the 31st May deadline. If that is the case then I believe that, taking a pragmatic approach, charities should aim to issue them as soon as possible once matters have settled down and staff are allowed to return to work.”

Retail Gift Aid and Digital Donations Lead at HMRC Charities, 26th March 2020

This is great news for charities that were concerned about this! We also have a guide for charities retailers on how to deal with sending out their end of year Gift Aid letters here.

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A guide to sending end of year Gift Aid letters for donated goods

end of year gift aid letters
Posting end of year Gift Aid letters.

When you sell donated goods on behalf of people bringing them in to your Charity Shops, HMRC require you to contact anyone with end of year Gift Aid letters who has generated £20 or more’s worth of sales to let them know how much money has been raised. For those with less than £20 worth of sales, you need to contact them every 3 years.

Each tax year, this must be done by no later than the 31st of May. Full guidelines along with a template letter can be found on HMRC’s website here. The letters can be sent by email or by post.

It can be quite a task to aggregate all the data and complete the mailing of end of year Gift Aid letters – but Tengo Software’s Charity Shop Software makes the process as easy as it can be.

All the data gathered through our Gift Aid EPoS tills is synchronised to our online Charity CRM system tengoCloud, which is integrated directly with HMRC’s servers. All of the rules of the HMRC legislation are automatically applied, and at the end of the tax year you can export a pre-formatted email/mail merge file, with all the required details and figures ready to go – meaning it’s really simple to get the data you need, whether you are producing the letters in-house, or using a third-party mailing house.

For further information, existing customer can find out how to do this on our support portal – any non-customers who are interested, please contact us today, and we’ll show you how it works.

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Tengo’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak

Many of our customers have contacted us with questions relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, so we are summarising our position here along with what we are offering to help our clients out during this concerning time.

Fortunately, the team at Tengo Software and our infrastructure is already designed in such a way that remote working is commonplace – as a precaution, all of our team are currently being instructed to work from home. All services are running as normal and will continue to do so even if the government impose further restrictions. Any on-site meetings scheduled in will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but installation, training, and any meetings can be effectively conducted remotely.

In order to help our clients take any measures they see fit or are required to do by the government, we are offering free additional ‘remote working’ licences for the next 30 days, at which point we will review the situation.

This includes our cloud based software and remote support systems – meaning staff will be able to use our software remotely, and as appropriate access their Tengo machines remotely as we do when we provide support.

If you are an existing client and want to register any additional licences, please contact us today.

Any further updates regarding Coronavirus and our response will be posted on this page, and there’s a short-link for you to save to easily come back here: http://bit.ly/tengoCV.

Thanks!

UPDATE 25/03/2020

Further to Government announcing increased restrictions, we are still operating as normal. Some of our suppliers are struggling, but at the moment we are still able to supply parts and machines from stock. On-site meetings are now cancelled until further notice, in line with the Government advice.

Customer have found our offer of free remote access software very useful, to aid further we are allowing the use of this for all machines, not just those with our software installed – meaning that anyone who doesn’t have a work laptop that they can use at home, can connect to their work computer with any internet enabled device, be it a home laptop or computer, tablet, or even just a mobile phone. Contact us if you’d like us to get you set up.

Lastly, many clients are putting signs in their window at closed premises to thank their customers and ask for their continued support during the crisis, with a short link and/or QR code to their TripGiving page. This is a great idea, again for those of you who need help with this, please get in touch.

Thanks again, and stay safe!

UPDATE 31/03/2020

Due to high demand for temporary licences, we now have an online form customers can fill in to request temporary licences – you will find the form here.

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Give the Gift of Gift Aid

Gift of Gift Aid

Do you love your local charity shop? Why not give them the gift of being able to claim, or claim more Gift Aid on donated goods. Tengo Software are offering a limited time offer of 3 months FREE use of our industry leading Charity Shop Software!

What benefit will this give to my favourite Charity Shop? Well, essentially it means they’ll make more money by doing exactly what they already do – selling on goods generously donated by members of the public. The Government gives charities an extra 25% on top of those sales proceeds under the Gift Aid scheme, but many Charity Shops are still not taking full advantage of this and some are not claiming this extra money at all – this is where Tengo Software can help!

To give this gift to your chosen charity, simply contact us by direct message on any of our social media platforms (listed below), and we’ll send you a code which you can give to the charity. If they get in touch with us by the 12th of March 2020, we’ll give them 3 months absolutely free, which will enable them to earn Gift Aid revenue through our easy to use charity shop software for donated goods.

TwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagram – On all platforms, the hash tag for the Gift of Gift Aid campaign is #giftofgiftaid and the short-link to this article is http://bit.ly/giftofgiftaid.

If you are a charity who’ve been gifted an offer code, please contact us quoting the code, and we’ll get in touch with you ASAP to set everything up!

To find out more about our charity shop software, click here, and to see examples of how we’ve helped other charities and organisations such as Age UK & FatFace, see our testimonials page. Thanks!

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How to claim Gift Aid in Charity Shops on Donated Goods

If you’re new to the Charity Retail world, and you want to know how you claim gift aid in charity shops, here’s a short guide to the process of claiming Gift Aid on donated goods.

how to claim gift aid in charity shops

One key thing to note about claiming gift aid on donated goods, it’s the person who donates the goods to the charity against which a Gift Aid claim is made. To claim Gift Aid in charity shops on donated goods, you need to track each item that is donated with a unique reference, and record this when it’s sold – then collating the information in to a submission to HMRC to claim the Gift Aid revenue.

This might sound pretty complicated, however our tengoPOS Gift Aid EPoS software makes it all really simple. The Royal Mail postcode database is built in, so you just need to ask for house name or number, postcode, and the donor’s name – they don’t even have to sign any paperwork, as a receipt is produced with the HMRC compliant Gift Aid declaration printed on it (this can also be emailed to them).

A label is produced that’s unique to the donor, and stuck on each product – it takes very little time, and then you get an extra 25% in Gift Aid from HMRC on each of the items sold!

If you’d like a demonstration of the software without obligation, please contact us today!


If you’re new to charity retail and looking in to setting up Charity Shops for the first time, or need help with existing stores, we also offer a charity consultancy service.

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Boost for the elderly in Lincolnshire through Tengo working with Age UK

Age UK’s services for the elderly

Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire use Tengo Software’s charity shop EPoS and CRM systems, and found that their expertise were invaluable. The system is now helping the charity to raise invaluable funds which are being redirected back to the elderly in the communities they support.

Amanda Sowerby, Operations Director at Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire, had the following to say about the software and their experiences with Tengo as a whole through the installation and training process, and ongoing support:

“We first used Tengo in 2018 when we added the system to our shops as we were having trouble with using a traditional/old fashioned style till. Initial contact was prompt and from initial contact to remote installation was much quicker than I had anticipated. Setting up the system was straight forward, the screen is clear and easy to use and since introducing the system has improved our ability to oversee all our shops and has taken our shops into the 21st Century!

Our ability to quickly and easily run off accurate reports from the cloud based CRM system has dramatically improved our reporting processes. The impact this has had on our retail business is fantastic and I can’t thank the Tengo team enough. The support from the team has been invaluable, their ability to respond to queries quickly using the remote log-in to allow the technical support team to see for themselves what we are talking about without visiting site is brilliant.

Thanks to the introduction of this system into our shops it has allowed our Charity to support even more lonely or isolated older people across Lincolnshire! Thank you!”

Amanda Sowerby, Operations Director at Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire

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The first FatFace charity shop

FatFace Foundation Charity Shop
FatFace Foundation Charity Shop in Havant

Tengo worked with FatFace to help them to venture in to charity retail for the very first time. Here’s what Will Crumbie, Finance Director of FatFace, had to say about how things are going:

“We opened our first FatFace foundation charity shop in Havant back in October 2018 and it took off much quicker and much better than we could have anticipated. The sales we made in our first week surpassed what we expected to take in our first year. The Tengo EPoS system certainly helped with this because it was so easy to use and enabled us to serve a large number of customers very quickly.

When the shop first opened, we had different staff from FatFace head office volunteering at the shop every day. Without such an easy to use system this would have been difficult to manage but everyone picked up the Tengo system with little or no training at all. We went on to raise over £250,000 in profit in our first year which will make a real difference to our partner charities.

The Tengo team were on hand to help us get everything set up and offer any advice we needed to get going and it has been great working with them.”

Will Crumbie, Finance Director, FatFace
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Berkeley Castle boost ticket sales with Tengo Software

Berkeley Castle have been with Tengo Software since 2015, using their visitor attraction EPoS and on-line ticketting platform TripGiving.UK. They have boosted ticket sales by using the system to sell tickets to their amazing charitable visitor attraction both on-line and in person on-site, as well as handling donations.

Jackie Pennington, Operations Manager at Berkeley, had the following to say about the service:

“TripGiving has been a great addition to our website, the system works seamlessly with our tills and enables our visitors to purchase their admission tickets in advance of their visit.  This benefits us in many ways;  it speeds up the admission process, enables UK tax payers to gift aid their ticket whilst making their on-line purchase and also gives us an indication of anticipated visitor numbers for upcoming events. We also take our online donations through the system, as it is cheaper than other options. I would recommend this facility to other attractions!”

Jackie Pennington, Operations Manager, Berkeley Castle
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Tengo help the NHS to raise funds through Gift Aid

Find out how Tengo’s software is helping NHS charities in the UK – written by Tim Diggle, Head of Charity, Leicester Hospitals Charity, and Alison Reynolds, Volunteer Service Co-ordinator, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Till in use at Glenfield Hospital shop
Till in use at Glenfield Hospital shop

We had a charity shop at one of our hospitals for 25 years that used the very basic system of writing each item sold into a book and working out the totals and change in your head. This shop was run solely by volunteers and was doing very well but the system left people open to making mistakes and there was no gift aid being claimed in the shop. In 2017 we recruited a charity shop manager, rebranded the shop we had, opened a second shop and decided to implement retail gift aid into both shops.

We met with several companies but Tengo Software was the only one that offered a full EPoS system that was at an affordable price for a charity. We ran comparisons of all of the systems we looked at and none of the more expensive systems could offer any more than we were going to get from Tengo.

The process from order to implementation was very straight forward and communication was great throughout. We had conversations with Tengo about the items we sold in the shops so that the day the Epos system was installed our till screen was ready to go. It had been completely customised just for us and Tengo had even designed the buttons in our charity colours because we had explained that our volunteers struggled to identify with the new branding.

The install day was very straight forward and much easier and smoother than we had anticipated, we had a number of our paid staff trained so that they could train volunteers and everyone took to the system very quickly. Most of our volunteers only work one day a week so we spent the next couple of weeks working closely with each volunteer explaining how the system worked and how they could help us maximise on gift aid sales. With most volunteers only seeing the system a couple times they felt confident to be in the shop alone and serve customers, take in donations that could be gift aided and cash up at the end of the day.

The support we have had from Tengo has been great!

Tim Diggle, Head of Charity, Leicester Hospitals Charity (NHS)

We had a lot of resistance to the new EPoS system before it was installed but we have now had feedback from our volunteers telling us that they actually enjoy using the tills and it has made their lives easier.

Along with the EPoS system in the shops we are using tengoCloud CRM which allows us to look at shop sales, as well as other useful information, from anywhere, at any time. This has been extremely helpful because we have been able to see when shop volunteers have made a mistake, been able to look at what sells well in each shop and also see if there are particularly busy or quiet periods each day or each week. It is a really easy system to use and you can find and export the information you want within a couple of minutes.

Leicester General Hospital charity shop
Leicester General Hospital charity shop

The Tengo EPoS system has enabled us to claim gift aid in our shops for the first time which has been very successful. Initially our volunteers were concerned about the additional step when receiving donations but they have taken to it well. In the office we use tengoCloud CRM to manage all gift aid donations. Through the cloud we can submit gift aid claims at the touch of a button and Tengo ensure that our gift aid claims are compliant as they are a HMRC approved supplier. The tengoCloud can also offer an automated system to send out the annual letters you need to send to your gift aid donors. We use the tengoCloud to manage the data we hold on the donors who have agreed to gift aid their donation. We can edit information if they inform us of changes to their circumstances and we can also export the data to create a mailing list for marketing purposes.

The Tengo EPoS system and CRM also enable us to ensure we are GDPR compliant. The EPoS system has a customisable GDPR questions page that pops up after anyone has agreed to be a gift aid donor. This data can then be managed on the Epos system or within the CRM so that you can amend an individual’s preferences if they change their mind at any time. The support we have had from Tengo has been great; their new support portal seems very easy to use although we must confess that we haven’t used it because we have not had an issue that requires input from Tengo.

We are delighted with the Tengo EPoS, Cloud and CRM systems. They have made our shops easier to manage, increased revenue, allowed us to capture the data of a new group of supporters and made life easier for our wonderful volunteers.