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CASC update 

Sailing The CASC scheme was originally introduced in 2002 and enables amateur sports clubs to register with HMRC and benefit from a preferential tax status.

As readers of Club Room will be aware, the Community Amateur Sports Clubs Regulations 2015 came into force on 1st April 2015.

HMRC have provided Detailed Guidance on these regulations.

RYA Supporters Club Model Template:  

In November’s Club Room we reported that we are in the process of drawing up template documentation to enable clubs to set up a supporters club to accommodate less active/inactive members in order to avoid breaching the participation threshold condition. 

We are busy working on the documentation and hope to be able to publish it by the end of year via Club Room.   

Honorary / Life Memberships:  

We are pleased to report that at the CASC Forum Stakeholders meeting on 27th November, HMRC confirmed that honorary / life memberships are permitted within the CASC scheme provided the club is open to all and that the use of such categories of membership does not prevent other people joining the club.  HMRC will be amending its Detailed CASC Guidance to reflect this. 

HMRC Correspondence:  

During the CASC Consultation HMRC informed us that it intended to write to all registered CASCs notifying them of the changes to the CASC Regulations.  We pressed HMRC on this later in the process and, as reported in Clubroom, we were informed by HMRC that it had changed its mind and it would write only to those clubs that it considered were ‘at risk’ of not being able to meet the new conditions – this equated to some 3000 odd clubs, none of which were boating clubs. 

We now understand that HMRC has changed its mind again and intends to write to all remaining CASC clubs about the new CASC Regulations.  If you are currently registered as a CASC then you can expect to receive an 'educational letter' from HMRC summarising the changes to the CASC rules with a request that you contact HMRC before 1st April 2016 if you do not comply.

Given HMRC’s recent change of tack, the fact that HMRC has written to you does not mean that your club is ‘at risk’– you only need to contact HMRC if your club is unlikely to be able to comply with the new Regulations.     

The Amnesty Clock is Ticking:  

The amnesty means that existing CASCs have a year of grace, which commenced 1st April 2015, to determine whether they wish to / or indeed can remain in the scheme. Provided existing CASCS notify HMRC of their intention to withdraw from the scheme before 1st April 2016 they will be able to leave the scheme during this year of grace if they wish.  They will not incur a Capital Gains Tax exit charge if their only reason for leaving is not wishing to / not being able to comply with the scheme’s new conditions and they were fully compliant with the rules before 1st April 2015.  They will not have to repay the previous year’s 80% mandatory rate relief.

It is important to recognise that if HMRC believe a club is de-registering under the amnesty in circumstances where it had not been fully compliant with the previous CASC rules it may well investigate the club with a resulting Capital Gains Tax penalty.  We therefore recommend that any club considering de-registration contacts Mandy Peters (see contact details below). HMRC has published guidance on the grace period and the procedure to de-register.

If your club is considering leaving the scheme as well as taking into account the loss of mandatory rate relief, we suggest you consider any corporation tax implications and to that end we have drawn up Corporation Tax Guidance.

RYA CASC Guidance

We have updated our own Guidance to help you get to grips with the new conditions and what they mean for your club.

This is an evolving document that we will update regularly following further discussions with HMRC, other NGBs and our own clubs thereby ensuring that we are able to capture as many examples of good practice as possible and reflect them in the Guidance. 

CASC Workshops

We have been holding CASC workshops around each of the seven RYA regions. If you haven’t had one in your region we suggest you contact your RDO to express an interest in one being held. 

If you have not already contacted us regarding the changes to the scheme please do so as there may be implications for your club that are not readily apparent from an initial reading of the legislation and guidance.  

We would encourage all CASCs to contact Mandy Peters to discuss how the revised conditions are likely to affect them.

Email: mandy.peters@rya.org.uk        Tel: 023 8060 4225

Local Authority Review of Mandatory Rate Relief

We are aware that some Local Authorities are carrying out a review of registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) entitlement to mandatory rate relief.  In order to assess whether an organisation qualifies for mandatory rate relief Local Authorities are requesting evidence such as audited accounts and a breakdown of club membership by category and the amount of membership fees charged for each category. 

HMRC has confirmed that Local Authorities have no statutory authority to request such information. We therefore advise clubs not to respond to such requests and to contact us if they receive a request from their Local Authority in relation to their entitlement to mandatory rate relief under the CASC scheme.

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