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Revenue will help you give cash to charity

AS the row between Unicef and its former head Melanie Verwoerd rumbles on, everyone agrees on one thing: even though it's hard finding extra money for good causes in a recession, charities should be supported.

You may not realise that the Revenue Commissioners, not normally associated with philanthropic endeavours, will reward you and your charity for your generosity.

If you donate over €250 a year (€21 per month) you can claim back the tax for your charity.

This is irrespective of whether you give in one go, or by a monthly direct debit, as many people prefer.

A list of qualifying charities is on the Revenue website, but it includes all the well-known ones, like Unicef, and some you may not have thought of, such as schools.

For a donation of €500, this means an extra €120 going to charity for a standard rate tax payer and a super €347.46 extra for a higher rate taxpayer. The money goes directly to your chosen cause, which means the charity gets every penny you intended.

PAYE workers complete a CHY2 cert (available from www.revenue.ie), while self-employed people claim the deduction on their tax return.