News – Winter 2015-16
Rule change deadline approaches
Very important reminder to all CASCs that registered with HMRC before 1st April 2015. The CASC rules changed as of 1st April 2015 and all CASCs have until 1st April 2016 to check they comply with the new rules and take the appropriate action. HMRC has sent a letter to all CASCs; therefore if your CASC has not received a letter regarding the changes to the CASC rules it should contact HMRC immediately on 0300 123 1073 or via this form here and obtain the letter for your CASC. The letter outlines the changes and explains the action your club needs to take. Not all CASCs have received the same letter.
Around half of all CASCs mainly in the sports of Rugby Union, Football, Lawn Tennis, Cricket and Golf (as well as some CASCs in other sports) have been sent a letter with a CASC self assessment checklist attached which has to be completed and returned to HMRC. A significant number of CASCs who have been sent a checklist have not returned it but must do this by 1st April 2016.
CASCs that haven’t been sent a checklist have been sent a letter requesting that the club checks it meets the new rules but only needs to reply to HMRC if it can’t meet the new rules and for HMRC to de-register it. This must also be done by 1st April 2016.
However, ALL CASCs need to obtain the letter for their club from HMRC if they haven’t received it and take appropriate action otherwise they risk being de-registered with a potential tax penalty. There is the option to come out of the scheme without tax penalty subject to conditions before 1st April 2016.
Please see here for a general guide to the rule changes and further information. Please take care when checking whether you meet the new rules.
New CASC rules compliance
Existing CASCs should continue to check compliance with all the new rules, the main new tests being the new £100,000 income test and using trading subsidiaries, costs associated with membership and the 50% participating members test.
Gift Aid declarations
New declarations must be used by CASCs claiming Gift Aid. HMRC has updated the model wording for Gift Aid declarations and CASCs must be using the new wording by 1st April 2016. Please see here for more information.
Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) call for evidence
The Government is considering ways of improving the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) so that more CASCs make use of it. If a CASC is regularly claiming Gift Aid, the GASDS scheme allows CASCs to claim 25p in the £1 on small cash donations up to £20 subject to conditions without the need to obtain Gift Aid declarations. The Government has launched a call for evidence requesting evidence from clubs. Please contact us if you would like to contribute.
CASCs that want to incorporate need to re-apply to HMRC for CASC status under the new company since CASC status cannot be transferred from the unincorporated club to the incorporated company. However, HMRC have provided a check first process to help clubs decide whether CASC status will be granted to the new company. Capital gains on assets transferred by the CASC on incorporation e.g. its land and clubhouse could arise however HMRC have recently confirmed that a clearance letter to them will not be required since no capital gain will arise.
Honorary and free Life Memberships
HMRC has reviewed its position on Honorary and free Life Memberships for CASCs. Some clubs offer honorary or free life memberships (or equivalent) to some members to thank them for serving a club for many years as a coach, committee member, umpire or volunteer. CASCs can offer honorary or life memberships if they continue to be open to the whole community. A CASC cannot restrict applications by new members on the basis that the Club has lots of honorary members and cannot accept any new members. HMRC will consider what criteria a club uses for granting honorary and free life memberships to ensure that a club is open to the whole community and it does not restrict the number of ordinary memberships available.
Number of registered CASCs
The number of registered CASCs has increased to 6,824 as at the end of July 2015. These sports clubs have claimed an estimated cumulative minimum cash benefit of £194.9million (Source: www.cascinfo.co.uk - Monthly analysis of CASC registrations) since the scheme began, highlighting the continued important contribution the CASC scheme plays in grass roots sport.