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Giving with UK and European assets

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Higher and additional rate taxpayers may claim additional tax relief on their UK self-assessment tax returns.

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Giving to Cornell from assets held in the UK and many countries in Europe is easy, and your support can make a powerful difference in Cornell's ability to fulfill its mission. Now, the Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd makes giving for UK taxpayers and those from some European countries, easier, more direct, and tax-efficient.

Transnational Giving Europe (TGE) enables donors in the participating countries listed below to facilitate gifts to the Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd. If you are a taxpayer living in one of the following countries, visit our country-specific information below:

Information for UK Taxpayers

In most cases, giving through the UK Foundation will be the most tax-efficient way to give for individuals liable for taxes in the United Kingdom, or the UK and the U.S. Gifts to this UK-registered charity are also recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Relief may be available in both countries for the same gift.

Gifts to the foundation may be eligible for Gift Aid, a form of UK tax relief. To determine your Gift Aid amount, please use our Gift Aid calculator on the right. Note that higher- or additional-rate UK taxpayers may be entitled to claim the difference between the higher- or additional rate of tax (40% or 45%, respectively) and the basic rate of tax (20%) on the total, or gross, value of your gift to the UK Foundation.

Ready to make a gift to the Foundation?

For cash gifts or checks, download and fill out our Gift Aid Declaration form and send, along with your gift payable to the Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd., to:

    Eileen Flood, Administrator
    Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd.
    19 Norcott Road
    London N16 7EJ
    United Kingdom

To talk to our foundation’s representatives, please contact Eileen Flood at 020-7502-2813 or ebf47@cornell.edu. To talk to a Cornell University officer, contact David Pinker at 607-254-7172 or djp39@cornell.edu.

Download bank details for wire transfers here.

Want to learn more about the Foundation?

Please read our Frequently Asked Questions below or download it here:  

  1. What is the Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd. and what is it for?
  2. Is the Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd. the same as the Cornell Foundation?
  3. What is Gift Aid and what are the tax benefits for giving to the Foundation?
  4. What additional tax benefits apply to higher- or additional-rate UK taxpayers and taxpayers who are subject to both UK and US taxes?
  5. Is this the first time that donors who are subject to taxes in both the UK and the US have been able to get tax benefits for their gifts in support of Cornell?
  6. For taxation purposes, what time frames should donors keep in mind?
  7. How do I know if I am eligible for Gift Aid?
  8. How do I qualify for Gift Aid to benefit Cornell?
  9. What happens after I submit my Gift Aid declaration form along with my gift to the Foundation?
  10. How will my gift be acknowledged?
  11. What types of gifts are eligible for Gift Aid?
  12. Are other gifts that do not qualify for Gift Aid still accepted by the Foundation?
  13. Even though giving through payroll does not qualify for Gift Aid, what are its advantages?
  14. What currency does the Foundation accept?
  15. Is there a minimum amount for gifts made through the Foundation?
  16. If I make a joint gift with other individuals, will our gift qualify for Gift Aid?
  17. Can my company match a gift I made through the Foundation?
  18. Where do I send my gift?
  19. Whom do I contact for more information about the Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd.?
  20. 20. As a UK citizen, can I make a legacy gift to Cornell in my will?

1. What is the Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd. and what is it for?

The Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd., or the UK Foundation, is a dual-qualified charity that the university created in the United Kingdom for the following purposes: enabling UK taxpayers to make tax-efficient gifts in support of the university; taking advantage of UK tax incentives, or Gift Aid, for the benefit of the university's education and research activities; and, in certain situations, making it possible for donors who are liable for both UK and US taxes (such as Americans residing in the UK) to receive tax relief from both countries on the same contribution.

Wholly owned by Cornell, the UK Foundation is a registered charity in England and Wales. It is recognized by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as a charity for UK tax purposes (relevant for taxpayers in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales), and it is governed by its Board of Trustees, which approves the distribution of all gifts received by the UK Foundation.

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2. Is the Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd. the same as the Cornell Foundation?

No. The Cornell Foundation is the university’s donor-advised fund. The Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd. is an entirely separate entity as described above.

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3. What is Gift Aid and what are the tax benefits for giving to the Foundation?

Gifts made to the UK Foundation may be eligible for Gift Aid, a form of UK tax relief designed to encourage charitable contributions. Through the Gift Aid scheme, the UK Foundation can claim the basic-rate income tax from HMRC, which has been paid on the gross amount of a donor’s gift, thereby increasing the value of that gift.

For example, at present, if you make a gift of £1,000, the UK Foundation will be able to recover £250 from HMRC, provided that you have paid sufficient UK tax. For more information on Gift Aid, please visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/individuals/giving/gift-aid.htm.

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4. What additional tax benefits apply to higher- or additional-rate UK taxpayers and taxpayers who are subject to both UK and US taxes?

If you are a higher- or additional-rate UK taxpayer, you may be entitled to claim the difference between the higher- or additional-rate of tax (45% or 40%, respectively) and the basic rate of tax (20%) on the total (or gross) value of your gift to the UK Foundation.For example, if you donate £1000, the gross value of your donation to the charity amounts to £1250, and you can currently claim 25% of this figure (£312.50) on your self-assessment tax return. If you do not normally file a self-assessment tax return, you can request one from HMRC.

If you are a UK taxpayer who is also subject to US tax, you may be eligible to take advantage of the Gift Aid scheme (as well as other forms of tax relief in the UK) and also claim a US charitable income tax deduction for the amount of your gift (including the Gift Aid reclaimed by the UK Foundation from HMRC) on your IRS Form 1040

To see how much Gift Aid and tax relief your contribution could be eligible for, please use our Gift Aid calculator.

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5. Is this the first time that donors who are subject to taxes in both the UK and the US have been able to get tax benefits for their gifts in support of Cornell?

No. Previously, UK donors made gifts in support of Cornell through an umbrella organization called Charities Aid Foundation, and those subject to both UK and US tax made their contributions through the CAF American Donor Fund. The Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd. acts as a separate, new charity that makes the giving process easier and more direct for donors, allowing gifts to be made without the deductions from administration fees.

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6. For taxation purposes, what time frames should donors keep in mind?

Timing may differ from donor to donor. For UK taxpayers, the UK tax year runs from April 6 of the current year to April 5 of the next year. Donations by UK taxpayers may be “carried back” into the previous tax year in certain circumstances. For those who are also US taxpayers or dual-qualified citizens, the end-of-December US tax deadline also applies.

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7. How do I know if I am eligible for Gift Aid?

To qualify for Gift Aid:

  • You must have paid sufficient UK tax to cover the reclaimed portion
  • You must provide the UK Foundation the Gift Aid declaration form, along with your gift, payable to Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd.

Through Gift Aid, the UK Foundation claims from HMRC an amount equal to the basic-rate tax HMRC deems you have paid on your donation. As such, you must have paid sufficient UK tax to cover this reclaim. In order for Gift Aid to apply, you must have paid at least as much UK income tax and/or capital gains tax as will be claimed by all the UK charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs to which you have donated in the tax year. In other words, you must pay sufficient UK tax to “frank” each donation, and cover the amount of tax to be reclaimed from HMRC by the organizations you donate to. Please consult your tax advisor or visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/individuals/giving/gift-aid.htm for more information.

There is no limit to how often Gift Aid can be used to make gifts to the UK Foundation. Additionally, you will only need to submit the Gift Aid declaration form once, as long as you indicate (by marking the appropriate slot) that the form applies to the current gift and other subsequent donations. You may revoke the Gift Aid declaration form at any time (for example, if you relocate and cease to pay sufficient UK tax to "frank" your donations). If you prefer, you may indicate that your Gift Aid declaration covers only your current gift.

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8. How do I qualify for Gift Aid to benefit Cornell?

You must provide the Foundation with a Gift Aid declaration form and include it with your gift payable to Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd. There is no limit to how often Gift Aid can be used to make gifts to the Foundation. Additionally, you will only need to submit the Gift Aid declaration form once, as long as you indicate (by marking the appropriate slot) that the form applies to the current gift and other subsequent donations. You may revoke the Gift Aid declaration form at any time (for example, if you relocate and cease to pay sufficient UK tax to "frank" your donations). If you prefer, you may indicate that your Gift Aid declaration covers only your current gift.

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9. What happens after I submit my Gift Aid declaration form along with my gift to the Foundation?

After you have made your gift and completed and submitted the Gift Aid declaration form, the UK Foundation will file the Foundation’s Gift Aid reclaim. If you are an eligible higher- or additional-rate taxpayer, you can then additionally include the gift on your Self-Assessment Tax Return. The UK Foundation will apply to HMRC to claim a portion of the tax you have already paid (your Gift Aid) and advise you of the amount collected. The UK Foundation will also send you two receipts for your original gift, which you can use for respective UK and US tax purposes.

The Foundation’s trustees meet periodically to approve grants in support of Cornell University.

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10. How will my gift be acknowledged?

The UK Foundation will issue separate UK and US tax receipts. You will also receive a letter of acknowledgement for your gift.

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11. What types of gifts are eligible for Gift Aid?

To be eligible, gifts must come from individual personal income. These contributions can be made by cash, check, or wire transfer. For more complex tax and estate questions, please consult with your personal tax counsel.

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12. Are other gifts that do not qualify for Gift Aid still accepted by the Foundation?

Yes. Contributions from corporate entities or foundations, gifts of land, or qualifying shares, and donations made through payroll deductions may be eligible for other forms of UK tax relief and are accepted by the UK Foundation.

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13. Even though giving through payroll does not qualify for Gift Aid, what are its advantages?

UK taxpayers can maximize regular donations to the UK Foundation through the Payroll Giving scheme. Gifts made through payroll are taken directly from the gross pay, reducing taxable income and giving benefactors immediate tax relief at the highest rate of tax for which they qualify. For instance, a monthly contribution of £100 from a higher-rate taxpayer through Payroll Giving would go straight to the UK Foundation and would only cost the benefactor £60. A small administration fee is payable to a payroll giving agency, but some employers pay this charge so that the full amount of the donation can go to charity.

If your employer has a Payroll Giving scheme in place, you can request an application form and indicate your wish to donate to the Foundation. Your employer will then deduct a gift directly from your salary before tax is applied. Find out more at the Payroll Giving Centre website: www.payrollgivingcentre.com/employees.htm.

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14. What currency does the Foundation accept?

You can make your contributions in either pounds sterling or US dollars.

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15. Is there a minimum amount for gifts made through the Foundation?

No. Gifts of all amounts are welcome.

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16. If I make a joint gift with other individuals, will our gift qualify for Gift Aid?

Yes, but each of you must tell the charity how much comes from you individually. Also, as long as both individuals are UK taxpayers living at the same address, a single Gift Aid declaration may be used for a joint gift.

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17. Can my company match a gift I made through the Foundation?

Yes, if your employer has a gift-matching policy for UK charities.

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18. Where do I send my gift?

You may send your gift and the Gift Aid declaration form to:

    Eileen Flood, Administrator
    Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd.
    19 Norcott Road
    London N16 7EJ
    United Kingdom

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19. Whom do I contact for more information about the Cornell University Foundation (UK) Ltd.?

You may contact Eileen Flood at 020-7502-2813 or ebf47@cornell.edu. You may also contact David Pinker at 607-254-7172 or djp39@cornell.edu.

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20. As a UK citizen, can I make a legacy gift to Cornell in my will?

Yes. If you name the UK Foundation as a beneficiary in your will, its value will be deducted from your estate before the UK Inheritance Tax is determined. A reduced rate on this tax may apply if 10% of the taxable estate is bequeathed to one or more charities. Please consult your tax advisor or solicitor. We encourage you to notify Cornell of your intentions so that you can become a member of the Cayuga Society, honoring those who have established a planned gift for the university.

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