Your gift can often be enhanced by a variety of tax breaks for charitable action.
The University of Oxford is an exempt charity for the purpose of charity legislation. This means that, although it has charitable status, it is exempt from the requirement to register as a charity with the Charity Commission so it does not have a charity reference number.
There are several schemes available to help donors based in various countries to make tax efficient donations.
Tax-efficient giving – UK
UK residents can make tax-efficient charitable donations via a number of schemes.
As well as this, your employer may operate a scheme whereby it will match gifts you make to charities. You can usually find out about these schemes from your organisation’s human resources department.
Gift Aid is a UK government scheme that enables the University to claim tax relief on donations from UK taxpayers. We would encourage all eligible donors to take up this scheme to maximise their donation. For every £1 a UK taxpayer donates, 25p in reclaimed tax is added. This means that a £100 gift with Gift Aid is worth £125 to the University.
Please note that we will share relevant and necessary data with HM Revenue and Customs to enable us to reclaim the Gift Aid on your donation.
Donations from companies are not eligible for Gift Aid. However, the company can treat the gift as an allowable expense, making a saving on corporation tax.
UK taxpayers who are paid under PAYE (Pay As You Earn) can maximise regular donations to the University through payroll giving. Gifts made through this scheme are taken directly from the gross pay, giving the benefactor immediate tax relief at the highest rate of tax for which they qualify.
If you are a UK taxpayer and are interested in this method of giving, please request an application form from your employer, detailing your wishes to donate to the University of Oxford Development Trust Fund. The employer will then deduct a gift directly from your salary before tax is applied.
To give on PAYE please visit the Payroll Giving in Action website (see bottom of page).
Giving stocks and shares
Share giving is the most generous tax relief available to benefactors, combining relief on income and capital gains tax. In the UK, share gifts qualify for tax relief equal to the market value of the shares on the day the gift is made, including associated costs such as broker fees. The tax relief can be claimed for the year in which the gift is made.
For example, a gift to the University of Oxford of £1,000 worth of shares, made by an individual who is a higher rate taxpayer, would reduce their income tax by up to £500 for the year. Additionally, the benefactor would not have to pay any Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on any increase in the value of the shares since they were bought. If the shares have gone down in value, however, it is not possible to use this loss to offset any other CGT liabilities.
UK donors wishing to give shares can complete and mail us the UK share giving form (see bottom of page).
Legacies and reducing inheritance tax
Gifts to charity are exempt from Inheritance Tax (IHT) in the UK, and the government provides a further incentive when you leave 10 per cent or more of your net estate to charity.
Tax-efficient giving – Europe
If you are a European resident, you may be able to maximise your gift through Transnational Giving Europe (TGE).
This is a collaborative giving scheme offered by a partnership of European foundations. It enables donors (both corporations and individuals) resident in one of the participating countries to offer financial support to non-profit organisations in other member countries. Beneficiaries benefit directly from the tax advantages provided for in the legislation of their country of residence.
Country-specific contact details for the scheme are available on the TGE website. The scheme is currently operational for donations from the following European countries:
• Belgium • Bulgaria • France • Germany • Hungary • Ireland • Italy • Netherlands • Poland • Romania • Slovakia • Switzerland • United Kingdom
Additional information about European cross-border giving can be obtained from Giving In Europe.
The German Friends of Oxford University
Residents of Germany can also make tax-efficient donations via the German Friends of Oxford University without incurring any fees.
The German Friends of Oxford University is a registered charity run by Dr Jan Willisch. It is authorised to issue donation receipts to German donors, entitling them to offset charitable gifts from their taxable income in Germany. Legacies are treated in the same way as lifetime donations for the purposes of inheritance and gift tax in Germany, so you can also talk to Dr Willisch about leaving a gift in your will.
Contact: Dr Jan Willisch, lindenpartners, Friedrichstrasse 95 10117 Berlin
Tel +49 (0)30 755 424 00
Tax-efficient giving – US
If you are a resident of the USA, you can give to Oxford and its colleges via Americans for Oxford, Inc. This is the University's primary charitable organisation in North America, and has been determined by the United States Internal Revenue Service to be a tax-exempt public charity with 501(c)(3) status.
Oxford Planned Giving is a scheme available to US residents. Planned gifts benefit the University of Oxford while helping you to save taxes, increase your income and pass more on to your heirs. US donors wishing to give shares should contact Americans for Oxford.
Tax-efficient giving – Canada
The University of Oxford is recognised by the Canadian Revenue Agency as a prescribed institution under Section 3503 of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations. On receipt of your donation, we will ensure that you are sent a receipt for Canadian tax purposes.
Tax-efficient giving – Australia
The University of Oxford encourages its Australian alumni to support the Oxford Australia Scholarship Fund, which was established in 1993 by donations from Australian Oxford graduates. Since 1998, the fund has supported over 50 Australian scholars reading at the University of Oxford.
You can make a donation through the Oxford Australia Scholarship Fund website. After you have made your donation, you will be issued with a receipt for Australian tax purposes.
Tax-efficient giving – China and Hong Kong
The University of Oxford China Office Limited is a registered charity under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. The China Office is able to issue gift receipts for Hong Kong tax purposes. Please read more on tax-efficient giving for Hong Kong donors here.