Update on proposed changes to CASC scheme

“Overall – good news for CASC clubs and a considerable improvement on the original proposals” – Sport & Recreation Alliance

The Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) scheme provides a number of tax reliefs, similar to those available to charities, to support grassroots amateur sports clubs. In July this year British Rowing asked its CASC clubs to feedback their views on proposed changes to the scheme as part of a public consultation.

British Rowing’s Facilities Consultant, Alan Meegan, collated the responses to feedback the sport’s view to the Sport & Recreation Alliance (SRA) who have been leading this process for sport. 

Alan Meegan would like to thank the clubs who took time to forward their views to him.  He said yesterday; “Whilst nothing is yet set in stone, it seems fairly clear that participation costs will only be £520, instead of the £1040 referred to in the consultation initially. This represents £10 per week, a sum that lower paid and unemployed people are considered able to afford. From Rowing’s point of view, we can and mainly do, make this work, but as there are no plans to index it, eventually it may become a problem.” 

“The new rules may not suit all clubs. There will be a twelve month window during which clubs can apply to HMRC to de-register if they can prove that they cannot comply with the new rules and can show that it is the best course of action.  However, if clubs are seeking to de-register simply because they have been non-compliant, HMRC may look further and may levy penalties, so this needs to be considered carefully.”

Alan will continue to be involved in the consultation process and will represent the interests of British Rowing’s clubs at a series of workshops run by HMRC to provide more definition for the proposals.  The new regulations should be laid before Parliament in the New Year and new guidance will be published as soon as possible after the regulations are approved by Parliament.

Going forward, we are advised that application backlogs have been reduced or cleared but existing applications for CASC status will be processed from now on in line with the requirements of the new legislation.

Some key points:

  • Participation costs of up to £520 will be allowed (this is any obligatory costs associated with participation e.g. membership subscriptions, playing fees, any equipment mandated by the club). Above this clubs will have to demonstrate that people on low incomes could still participate for £520 or less should they want to (this means that they would be able to take part at least 12 times a year at accessible times i.e. if a clubs was open 7 days a week they would be able to participate on at least 3 days per week if they so wished).
  • There will also be an absolute cap on participation costs of £1612 per year.
  • Corporation tax exemption thresholds for trading and rental income have been increased to £50k and £30k per year respectively.
  • The informal 50% participating players rule will be formalised so that a club will not qualify for the scheme unless it has at least 50% participating members (this will include volunteers, officials, management committee etc).
  • On social income, clubs will be permitted unlimited income from members. As regards non-member income, there will be a limit of £100,000 per year. Any clubs generating income in excess of this will have to set up a trading subsidiary.
  • HMRC has also agreed to look at the issue of incorporation to improve the process for CASCs wishing to incorporate.
  • The deregistration charge will remain. 

Related links:

http://www.sportandrecreation.org.uk/news/23-11-2013/alliance-welcomes-government-changes-sports-club-tax-relief-scheme 

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/community-amateur-sports-clubs-casc-scheme

The Ministerial statement is below:

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