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avoiding gift-aid pitfalls

Gift-aid carry back

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I have just read an article warning of the dangers of gift aid, where someone's income falls below the his PA threshold. As I'm not used to the new format yet, I couldn't see where to post a comment. 

One classic case of an unfranked gift aid payment is where someone makes a large payment, and dies before his personal allowances are used up.

When in practice, I used to make it a rule where a donor made gift-aided payments to relate back into the previous tax year all the payments he was known to be making up to 31/01 after the year of the return, up to the basic rate threshold plus the tax. This raised  his basic rate threshold, and also his paymet on account of the following year. Or, if there was age allowance, it reduced his marginal rate. (This has gone, but it might be good for child benefit taxation).

In one instance, I carried back all the gift aid paid in a current year up till she lost her job in October, when she cancelled the gift aid declaration. HMRC said we couldn't do that, but I quoted the relevant legislation and never heard from them again.

My question: Does this still work?  And how strict are HMRc where a taxpayer who is not in self assessment dies suddenly, and leaves gift aid and a balance of allowances?

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