Declutterers who give their unwanted goods to certain charity shops can boost the value of these donations, at no cost to themselves, with Gift Aid tax relief.
These tax-efficient schemes for making non-cash donations – including Oxfam’s “Tag Your Bag” and a similar Gift Aid facility at British Heart Foundation shops — also allow higher-rate taxpayers to cut their own tax bills.
The tax benefit works like this: when donated goods are sold the charity claims an extra 28p from the taxman for each £1 an item was priced at, while donors who are in the 40 per cent tax band can reclaim a further 25p for each £1 of sale value.
To register, donors need to fill in a Gift Aid form that the shop provides. Sales of items — including clothes, books and CDs— are then tracked with special stickers. The individual relief is claimable via tax returns.
For details ask in charity shops or see www.oxfam.org.uk/tagyourbag or www.bhf.org.uk.