Inside the Cowley Road Shop, Oxford.

Retail Gift Aid: How it Works

By signing up to the scheme, you authorised Oxfam Activities Limited – Oxfam's trading company – to sell the goods on your behalf to turn them into a cash gift on which we can claim Gift Aid. This means that for every £1 your items make, we receive a further 25p from the HMRC.

HM Revenue and Customs state that in order for us to treat the money raised as a donation, Oxfam must contact you first to:

  • tell you how much money we've raised from the sale of your goods*.
  • tell you how much of your tax we intend to claim as Gift Aid.
  • ask if you're happy to treat this money as a donation and claim the Gift Aid.

* To be compliant with financial regulations, and continue to contribute positively to Oxfam's work, we need to apply a commission charge on the amount raised from the sale of your items, which is deducted before we write to you about what has been raised. This commission charge is 3%.

What if I've not paid tax or haven't paid enough tax to cover what you'll claim?

When you joined our Retail Gift Aid scheme you confirmed that you were a UK taxpayer. Oxfam can only claim Gift Aid on your donations if you are a UK taxpayer and have paid sufficient tax to cover what we will claim, so please let us know if you have stopped paying or aren't paying enough tax. You can do this by completing our close gift aid form, emailing us at or giving our Supporter Relations team a call on 0300 200 1300.

I would like to update my contact details...

If you would like to update your contact details please email, call the Supporter Relations team on 0300 200 1300 or write to Supporter Relations, Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Oxford OX4 2JY. Or, if you just want to give us an up to date address, you can complete our address update form.

What about self assessment tax returns?

If you are going to tell HMRC about your gifts to charity, including those from these sales – and claim any applicable tax relief – please keep this email for your records to help you in completing the appropriate section on your self assessment tax return.

My sales are lower than I expected

Our shops always aim to get the best price possible for every item donated. If your sales seem low, there are a few reasons for this:

  • we might pass items to another shop (because certain shops specialise in certain types of product). We'll still track the item to your number but it just takes a little longer to sell.
  • goods may be stored for sale in a more appropriate season and so you might get another email/letter in around 6 months about further sales.
  • some items may simply not have sold yet but might have by the next time your email/letter is sent. It can take up to 12 weeks to sell an item.
  • they may have been displayed for some time and not sold, and so have now been taken off sale.
  • your items may have become separated from their tag. We obviously hope that this wouldn't happen very often, but it is a manual process and if the shop is very busy the tag may get separated.
  • we may decide that an item isn't saleable. However if they were books or textiles they will have been recycled. Also most of our shops are able to recycle CDs, DVDs, glass and cardboard as well.