Share giving FAQs
Below are some of the most frequently asked share-giving questions. If your questions isn't answered below then please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01444 446645.
- Where do I start?
The first thing you should do is contact a financial adviser to discuss the best ways for you to give and the tax implications.
- What shares qualify?
To qualify for income tax relief, the shares must be listed or dealt on a stock exchange. Look at the financial pages of the newspapers to check this and to establish their market value on the day you make the gift.
- How do I claim income tax relief?
Keep some evidence of the gift, such as a letter to the Sightsavers about the donation, and a note of the market value of the shares.
Your income tax deduction will be the:
- Market value of the shares (see the Inland Revenue for help with this calculation)
- Plus the possible costs of transferring the shares, such as your stockbroker's fees
- What are the tax advantages?
Put simply, you can claim tax relief equal to the market value of the shares on the day you make the gift, together with any associated costs such as brokers' fees. The relief is against your income tax for the year. For example, if you give a charity £1,000 worth of shares and you are a higher rate taxpayer, you will pay £400 less in income tax that year.
Additionally, you will not have to pay any capital gains tax (CGT) on any increase in the value of the shares since you bought them. In theory this could mean a further 'saving' of up to 40% for a higher rate taxpayer although, in practice, the tax saving is likely to be less than 40%. If your shares have gone down in value, you should be aware that you will not be able to use this loss to offset any other CGT liability you may have.
- What do I need to do to claim my tax back?
You need to:
- Keep evidence of the gift, and of the date it was made.
- Make the gift to a UK charity.
Be aware that if you receive any benefit as a result of making the gift, this will reduce your tax relief.
The relief is available for shares and securities listed on the UK Stock Market, the Alternative Investment Market, and recognised stock exchanges overseas. It is also available for units in a UK unit trust, shares in a UK open-ended investment company (OEIC), and some similar foreign investments.
- How do I go about making the gift?
Initially contact Sightsavers via email@example.com or call 01444 446645.
Transferring your shares is quite straightforward.
What you do depends on whether you have an actual share certificate, or whether your shares are held in a nominee account which is why you need to contact Sightsavers and then we can explain the simple process.
If the shares are very small then we may suggest that you donate them via Sharegift (registered charity 1052686). ShareGift specialises in accepting small holdings of shares with low values, which would normally be uneconomic to be sold. They aggregate the shares, sell them when they have collected enough and distribute the ultimate proceeds to UK charities which would include Sightsavers if you suggest Sightsavers as recipients for your shares. For further information please visit www.sharegift.org
- What will Sightsavers do with the shares?
We will give the shares to our broker who will advise us whether selling or keeping hold of the shares is the best option at that current time. If you request that we sell the shares immediately then we will do this.
- Is it better to donate shares or cash?
The answer to this question depends on your individual tax situation and whether you wish the charity to receive the greatest benefit from the tax relief or yourself.
With a gift of shares, you get the tax relief. If the shares you give are worth say £1,000, the charity will get that gift and you can claim tax relief of £220 or £400, depending on whether you are a basic rate or higher rate taxpayer.
If you give cash to a charity through Gift Aid, (which requires the completion of a simple form), the charity can claim back basic rate tax - your cash gift of £100 is worth £128 to the charity. If you are a higher rate taxpayer, you can also claim back the difference between the basic and higher rate. But if you sold shares to raise the cash for the donation, you may have to pay Capital Gains Tax on any increase in the market value of these shares. If you are uncertain about the best way to give you should seek professional advice from an accountant, a financial adviser or a solicitor.
- Is the share value affected?
In our experience some of our donors who are company directors have been concerned about the effect that an immediate sale of a significant number of their shares by the NDCS would have on the share value.
- The first way is for you to gift the shares to us in a controlled manner over a number of years. This may be advisable for personal tax reasons as well, because you need to ensure that you have enough taxable income in the year that you make the donation to offset against the market value of your gift.
- The second way is for you to send us the share certificate in the name of the NDCS and attach a letter with conditions as to when we can sell the shares. We will then simply hold onto them until the date you specify.
- Can I find out more about Share Giving
For further information on share-giving and tax relief please visit:
You can contact the Inland Revenue at:
Tel: 0151 472 6043/6046 (queries on gifts of shares)
Tel: 0131 777 4040 (all queries in Scotland)