I got an email during the week from Concern, a charity I like to support in a small way, reminding me that they can claim tax back on my donations if I fill out a form.
The Taxes Consolidation Act allows registered charities, of which Revenue maintains a list, to benefit from the fact that donors have already been taxed on charitable contributions and, with their permission, that tax can be returned to the charity concerned, at no cost to the individual.
For instance, a donor gives say, €1,000 to a charity (it doesn't have to be in one go, but can be spread over a year), and by completing the CHY2 form (available to download at www.revenue.ie) the charity actually receives €1,449.27 which is obviously hugely attractive.
Charities can be slow to demand this of donors because perhaps they don't want to be seen to be hassling them, but if we do donate I think it's incumbent on us all to maximise that for the charity concerned.
The minimum donation which qualifies is €250 per annum and you can email email@example.com to get information and the form, or simply contact the charity you support and ask them to do it for you. They will be grateful and the money simply goes to Revenue otherwise.
Bear in mind that many schools qualify under the scheme so those 'voluntary' contributions you pay may well be included.