Basingstoke Sports Council

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The impact of the new Community Amateur Sports Club rules on sport

Background

The Sport and Recreation Alliance and sports national governing bodies (NGBs) have been deeply involved in an extended period of consultation and discussions with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on CASCs which is now coming to an end. New rules, soon to be finalised, will be introduced for CASCs from 1st April 2015 and are likely to affect many community sports clubs which are CASCs. Detailed guidance is currently being drafted by HMRC in consultation with NGBs.

 

The CASC scheme has been, and will continue to be, vitally important to bolstering the finances of many sports clubs through the provision of 80% mandatory business rate relief, gift aid on donations and certain exemptions from corporation tax. The Government wishes to see the scheme grow and thrive and have introduced welcome improvements which include an increase in the tax exempt thresholds and corporate gift aid for CASCs. However the qualification conditions will be more prescriptive.

 

The new conditions

The main elements of the new scheme will include:

 

  • Non-member income must be under £100,000 pa. If exceeded the club will be able to stay in the scheme using a trading subsidiary for non-member activities – this will require careful planning.
  • A limit on membership costs (including membership fees and playing costs e.g. match fees) of £520 pa – if exceeded clubs must make provision for those who can't afford £520 pa.
  • Only 50% of members can be non-participating (i.e. social members). The new rules will specify a definition of participation.

There is also likely to be more record keeping required of clubs.

 

Impact on sports clubs

All CASCs will have to review their circumstances to ensure they continue to qualify; some may have to make changes to stay in the scheme. The majority of existing CASCs should be able to remain in it if they approach this review carefully. There is no need to be concerned at this stage; the new rules and guidance are not yet finalised and clubs will have a year from April to assess their position and take appropriate action.

 

Central advice and support

To date both the SRA and NGBs have provided support to clubs in relation to the CASC scheme. It is anticipated that this support will continue and, in due course, extend to cover the new rules and help in assessing CASC status. As such, clubs are strongly advised to contact their NGB in the first instance if they have any queries relating to the new rules.

 

 

Richard Baldwin MBE; CTA; FCA - January 2015

Richard is Honorary Tax adviser to the Sport and Recreation Alliance and has provided support and advice to NGBs. He is a leading member of HMRC's CASC Forum.

 

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