News – Spring 2020
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) EDITION
CASC registration (with the number of CASC registered clubs standing at 7,154) may prove vital in ensuring the survival of sports clubs during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Management Committees of CASC’s of all sizes should be preparing detailed budgeted cash flows for at least the next 6 months so that they are aware of potential cash shortfalls. Members of Management Committees of unincorporated clubs can be personally liable under contracts they entered into for the club so maintaining club solvency is vital.
Government financial support may help bridge a CASC’s funding gap but is unlikely to be sufficient in all cases. The Government coronavirus support available which will put more cash in a CASC’s bank account include a business rates holiday for 2020/21 (topping up the current 80% mandatory relief), cash grants of £10,000 or £25,000 for CASC’s with their own facilities where the rateable value is less than £51,000 and cash contributions of a maximum of £2,500 per head under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for furloughed employees.
Support for the self employed
Self employed contractors to CASC’s, such as some sports coaches, may be eligible for support of up to £2,500 per month under the Government’s Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEIS).
Other funding for CASCs
CASCs may also be able to receive other support such as grants and loans from various sources. All this financial support may not be enough and CASC’s should consider using Gift Aid to help them survive.
HMRC Gift Aid promotion
HM Government has been a strong supporter of the use of Gift Aid by CASC’s and charitable sports clubs and recently launched a promotion of Gift Aid to coincide with Sport Relief. The promotion highlighted the Gift Aid scheme allows the above clubs to claim an extra 25p for every £1 donated to the club by individual taxpayers (subject to conditions). It also gave the example of one registered CASC who had claimed almost £25,000 in Gift Aid cash rebates from HMRC on individual donations to help it build new changing rooms, showing the huge benefit of Gift Aid to CASCs in practice.
Make use of Gift Aid during the lockdown
This Newsletter has consistently advocated the use of Gift Aid to CASC’s but many fund raising opportunities are not currently viable due to the pandemic lockdown. A straightforward unsolicited individual donation to support the club during the pandemic with no or limited benefits in return continues to be eligible for Gift Aid at 25% of the donation. Sponsored online fundraising can also qualify and online platforms can be used to assist with the Gift Aid process.
Cancellation of ticketed events and Gift Aid
HMRC have recognised the difficult environment for fund raising and accessing Gift Aid. Firstly, if a charity or a CASC has cancelled (not postponed) an event due to the coronavirus pandemic, HMRC have confirmed an individual can choose to donate the refund due to them for tickets purchased, back to the club, and the club can claim Gift Aid on the donation without the money being physically refunded to the individual. This is a temporary change. Secondly, HMRC have highlighted that where a member decides to make a voluntary donation to a CASC or charity which has suspended or reduced its subscriptions whilst it is closed during the coronavirus pandemic, the club can claim Gift Aid on the donation. Great care should be taken in both of these areas which are subject to other Gift Aid rules and must be supported by relevant documentation.
Please be aware that Government financial support during the coronavirus pandemic is changing regularly and the above is based on our current understanding.