TAX REFUND ON YOUR DONATIONS TO THE PARISH
Total donations must be €250 or greater in the year.
The Finance Act 2001 introduced the “Scheme of Tax Relief for Donations to Charities and Eligible Bodies”. Since then, most charities have been advising donors about the benefits and as a charity, all parishes in our diocese are entitled to avail of this scheme.
Parishioners who pay income tax can use their tax to help their parish financially. The scheme helps recognise the support that people give to their parish.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Contributions must be made in a manner that the donor can be identified and the donation recorded. This will normally be achieved by using the envelopes made available through the parish. These are:
Christmas & Easter Dues
Voluntary Family Offering & Weekly Family Offering (small envelope)
Special Collections where the donor identifies themselves with the amount in a special envelope provided.
Apart from the weekly contributions made to the parish, payments made to Common Fund (“1st Collection” at Mass ) and Share( “2nd Collection” at Mass ) other Collections can also be included when they are made in an identifiable way, by using the envelopes distributed by the parish with the name and address of the donor included. Donations made by way of cheque, or standing order or annual payments can also be included as they are easily identifiable.
A record of all identifiable donations is kept in the Parish Office with the GDPR applying.
At the end of the year, the parish will issue receipts for donations given in these ways and if they amount to more than €250 they are eligible to reclaim back the tax the donor has paid on the amount given.
If you pay Income Tax (either under PAYE or self-employed/self-assessment, your parish can take advantage of the scheme subject to some conditions. As well as being able to identify the donor, the parishioner has to sign a form (once every five years) stating that they have given donations to the parish and allow their parish to claim the tax back.
Donations must be €250 or more in the year.
Donations are not repayable. Donations do not confer a benefit on the donor (Lotto/Draws/ Raffles are excluded).
Sam is a self- employed plumber and during 2019 donated €500.00 to his parish. The parish claims a refund from the Revenue of an additional €224.63. The parish gets the initial €500 donation plus the €224.63 tax refund = € 724.63.
Suzy works part-time as a PAYE taxpayer and also has some self-assessed income tax to pay and during 2019 donated €500.00 to the parish envelope collection. She also made a once-off donation of €250 towards church refurbishment. The parish claims a refund from the Revenue of an additional €336.96. The parish gets the initial €750 donation plus the €336.96 tax refund = €1,086.96
HOW DO I TO SIGN UP?
Let the parish secretary know that you wish to participate in the scheme by contacting the parish office with your name, address and method of donation. The secretary advises you accordingly. At the end of the year, the parish secretary will send you a receipt and a Parish Tax Rebate Form (CHY3) to be completed and returned to the parish office.
Each parishioner’s data is treated in the utmost confidence. The amounts will be recorded. At the end of the year, a receipt will be issued to you by the Administrator as an acknowledgment for your donation.
Will anyone see my tax affairs?
The parish does not receive any information from Revenue on an individual’s financial circumstances. Payment from Revenue will be on the total tax back due to them without a breakdown of amounts.
This scheme benefits parish funds only. While all collections, where the donor is identifiable, can be included in the amount of your total donation, any tax rebate received will be used for the charitable purposes of the parish only and this income/ return will be shown as an item on the annual Income & Expenditure statement of the parish.
For the above reasons, it is helpful to identify yourself with name & postal address when returning donations.