If your club isa registered charity or registered with HMRC as a Community Amateur Sports Club and you have reduced or even suspended subscription fees during the period of lockdown, there may be an opportunity to claim Gift Aid on any payment by a member which exceeds the reduced subscription e.g. if their existing monthly standing orders continue and they are invited to treat them as a donation.
Where subs have been suspended altogether clubs could consider inviting members to make donations which could qualify for Gift Aid.
Word of warning: Gift Aid is not available for services a club provides e.g. boat storage or mooring fees.
If you have events that have been cancelled (e.g. an annual fund raising dinner as a result of the crisis for which you have already taken payment) rather than refund the entry fees, you could consider asking participants if they are willing to treat the fee as a donation and, if so, claim Gift Aid on that donation.
HMRC's Guidance on this can be accessed here and whilst it refers to charities and not specifically to CASCs, we are advised that the CASC Unit in Bootle has confirmed that the concessionary treatment should apply equally to sports events organised by a charity or CASC.
It will be extremely important to ensure you have appropriate documentation providing an audit trail, ensuring your members/participants complete a Gift Aid Declaration.
Stay in touch
Guidance from the RYA Legal team regarding C19 continues to be updated and you can find it in the hub on the RYA website here
We also encourage clubs to let us know any success stories which can be shared with others and to ask for help if you're experiencing any difficulties with legal matters and we will do our best to help.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org