Detailed below are some of the requirements and implications for the status of your organisation, and links to more detailed guidance.
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (the Commission) has now commenced compulsory charity registration. This is different from registration with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for charitable tax exemptions, so even if you have an HMRC registration number, you must still apply for registration with the Commission.
Benefits from Registration include being able to apply for charitable tax relief for organisations not yet recognised by HMRC and access to funding streams only available to registered charities.
It is only compulsory to apply to register with the Commission if your organisation is, or could be; charitable (has exclusively charitable purposes). Public benefit is at the heart of what it means to be a charity. More information on is available in the Commission’s statutory guidance, The public benefit requirement. There are no exceptions or exemptions
This voluntary scheme allows local amateur sports clubs to register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and benefit from a range of tax reliefs, including Gift Aid, where they meet the qualifying conditions detailed in the links listed below.
Once registered as a CASC, a club cannot apply to be recognised as a charity. To convert a registered CASC to a charity involves closing down (winding up) the CASC and transferring over the assets and activities to a new charity.
In April 2015 a number of changes were made to the CASC scheme, there was also an increase in the tax exemptions for property and trading income:
As a CASC you won’t pay tax on:
Trading profits if turnover is less than £50,000 a year (£30,000 before 1 April 2015); and Income of up to £30,000 a year from renting out property (£20,000 before 1 April 2015)
Income condition: There is no longer a limit on the amount of trading income you can earn from members. However, the new income condition means that CASCs cannot earn more than £100,000 a year from trading with non-members and property income.
Payments to players: CASCs can pay players as long as they don’t pay more than £10,000 in total to all their players in a single year.
Membership costs: There are new limits on fees and costs. Fees can’t be more than £31 a week (£1,612 a year). If your club’s costs associated with members are more than £10 a week you must provide help, for example a discount to reduce those costs to £10 a week for people who can’t pay more.
Expenses: Clubs can pay expenses for some matches and tours where players take part in and promote the club’s sport.
Participation: At least 50% of a club’s members must participate in sport at the club.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have published detailed guidance explaining how the new rules work. It’s important that you read this to check whether your club meets the rules. For clubs who comply with the new rules, there is no action that needs to be taken. For clubs that don’t yet comply with the rules, the deadline set to become compliant is 1 April 2016.
The guidance below explains what these changes mean for your club in relation to:
Further information can be found at: HMRC Guidance