Usually, it is necessary to perform an action within a tax year in order to impact your tax liability for that specific year. One notable exception is the ability to carry back charitable donations to the previous tax year in certain circumstances. HMRC have published the following guidance to help explain what is involved:
“You can ask for Gift Aid donations to be treated as being paid in the previous tax year if you paid enough tax that year to cover both any Gift Aid gifts you made that year and the ones you want to backdate.
Your request to carry back the donation must be made before or at the same time as you complete your Self Assessment tax return for the previous year but no later than the filing deadline for the tax return, which is 31 October if you file a paper tax return, or 31 January if you file online.”
What HMRC does not mention are the opportunities this facility provides, particularly to higher rate tax payers and those with income in excess of £100,000. Please contact us if you would like more information on this topic.