Financing the orchestra

The Corinthian Chamber Orchestra is a non-profit making organisation and is a registered charity in the UK (charity number 1125478).

It costs £40,000 per year to keep the Corinthian Chamber Orchestra running: that’s (on average) over £6,500 a concert. This is currently funded almost entirely by concert ticket sales and voluntary donations by players in the form of a modest subscription per concert.

Charitable status and Gift Aid

As a charity, one of the ways we offset our year on year losses is by taking advantage of the government’s Gift Aid scheme. This enables us to maximise the value of players' subscriptions as well as any other donations we receive.

Advantages for the orchestra

Gift Aid allows charities such as the CCO to reclaim tax on any subscription or donation which is money that the donor has already paid tax on (in the case of a subscription, to the extent it does no more than secure membership of the charity and does not secure a right to personal use of any facilities or services provided by the Orchestra). Tax can be reclaimed on the 'gross' equivalent of the donation or eligible portion of the subscription (its value before tax was deducted) at the basic rate: currently 20%. This means that for every £1 donated to the CCO using Gift Aid, the orchestra can claim an additional 20p from Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

So, over the course of a season, if we collect our subscriptions in full, we would expect to recover from HMRC about £2,250, and much more if higher rate SA taxpayers donate their tax repayments to us (see next paragraph).

For every £1 donated under the Gift Aid scheme the CCO will receive 25p in aggregate. At current tax rates, a player's per concert subscription of £40 (assuming £37 of this will be eligible for tax reclaim) will therefore actually be worth £46.25 to the orchestra.

Higher rate taxpayers

If you are a higher rate taxpayer, you can claim back the difference between the higher rate of tax (at 40%) and the basic rate of tax (at 20%) on the total value to the orchestra of your donation. So, on a subscription of £40, assuming £37 of this will be eligible for tax reclaim, the orchestra will claim back the basic rate tax of £9.25 and you will be able to claim back for yourself  another £9.25. You can make this reclaim through your Self Assessment tax return. If you do not complete a tax return, you claim it by calling your tax office and requesting that the higher rate relief is reflected in your PAYE tax code.
However, if you complete an SA return and you are entitled to a tax repayment, rather than claim back this tax for yourself, you can elect to give some or all of this to the orchestra through the "SA Donate" scheme. In order to do so, you will need to enter the reference code for the orchestra in the space provided on your SA tax return. HMRC will then send your refund directly to us.

At current tax rates, for players who are higher rate SA taxpayers and donate their tax repayment to the CCO, their per concert subscription of £40 (assuming £37 of this will be eligible for tax reclaim) is worth £55.50 to the orchestra.

Our "SA Donate" reference number is AAU05VG.

Advantages for you

  • Your subscription is worth more to us without you paying any more.  This means that despite substantial rises in rising running costs in some areas (especially venue hire) we can avoid increasing subscription rates.
  • As mentioned above, if you pay higher rate tax, you can claim back the difference between the basic rate of tax and the higher rate on all gross Gift Aid donations made each tax year (although we would prefer, of course, that you donate this to the orchestra under the "SA Donate" scheme).
  • If you apply for tax credits, you can include Gift Aid donations on your tax credit application: because these donations reduce your taxable income you may be awarded more tax credits.

What you will need to do

In order for your subscription or donation to qualify as a Gift aid donation, you must make a declaration to the orchestra that:

  • you want your subscription or donation to be treated as a Gift Aid donation; and
  • you have paid sufficient UK tax for the year in which your donation is made to cover the basic rate tax the orchestra will reclaim.

You can download a declaration form here.  You will only need to sign one declaration and then all your future subscriptions will be gift aided to the orchestra until you cancel it.

The majority of our players will be able to sign this declaration, but anyone who falls into the categories below should give it some thought.  They are:

  • students who may have no taxable income whatsoever;
  • those on any form of non-taxable state benefits and no taxable income;
  • anyone who has certified himself or herself as eligible for bank or building society interest to be paid gross because they are not taxable, and have little or no taxable income;
  • anyone who pays no tax, for whatever reason.

If you fall into any of these groups, you may not be able to sign.