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Important Information Regarding Online Gift Aid Submission Changes, Effective 20 April 2019

HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, United Kingdom) announced technical changes to their Online Submissions API, which involves rejecting submissions where the Online Submissions password is hashed using MD5. This change will be effective 20 April 2019.

As part of our commitment to sector-leading security and in alignment with industry best practices, Blackbaud has now deprecated the approach of MD5, hashing the Online Submissions password. The entire submissions request will now be encrypted with TLS 1.2 starting with Service Pack 19.

If you utilise the HMRC (Gift Aid) functionality, it is important that your organisation updates Blackbaud CRM™ to 4.0 SP19 (4.0.180.1901) before 20 April 2019, to prevent any disruption to this service. If you are hosted with Blackbaud, please contact Blackbaud Support to start the process of upgrading your environments to Service Pack 19. If your solution is hosted on-premise, please download Service Pack 19 and upgrade as soon as possible. 
 
For more information on Service Pack 19, please read the CRM 4.0 Service Pack 19 release notes here and this Knowledgebase article on the change.
 
FAQS:
 
Q: What is MD5? 
A: The MD5 message-digest algorithm is a widely used hash function producing a 128-bit hash value.  See more here.

Q: Is TLS 1.2 required?
A: No, TLS 1.2 is the default encryption version but will roll down to TLS 1.1 if TLS 1.2 is not enabled. We do highly suggest updating to TLS 1.2 if you haven’t done so already. For more information, see the guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre at https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/tls-external-facing-services

Q: What happens if I do not upgrade by 20 April 2019?
A: You will no longer have the ability to submit your HMRC data through CRM. 
 
Q: Are there any workarounds or alternative methods to submit HMRC files?
A: Yes, you can either defer these submissions until such time that your organisation has upgraded to SP19 or you can submit these manually. See here for how to submit HMRC files manually.
 
Q: Will we be able to run the R68 process, R68 report, and/or apply the tax claim number to records if we aren't able to upgrade?
A: Yes, both the process and report will still function successfully, as well as the ability to add tax claim numbers if your organisation is unable to upgrade to SP19 by 20 April 2019. This will only affect the ability to submit the file to HMRC.
 
Q: Do any changes need to be made to the HMRC or the R68 processes after upgrading to SP19?
A: No further action is required. All configuration changes were deployed with the upgrade.
 
Q: If we do not upgrade by 20th April 2019 and have HMRC files waiting to be submitted, should these be done prior to upgrading to SP19? 
A: No, you can wait to submit these until after you have upgraded to SP19 without fear of any consequences.
 
Posted by Derek Marr on Feb 8, 2019 12:10 PM America/New_York

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