We are often asked "by what legal authority are the trustees and key management personnel of a charity obligated to disclose Related Party Information, especially family relationships, to the charity and also to the auditors?"
According to a recent survey by the Charity Commission the reserves policy reporting by charities has improved, however, this mainly relates to the biggest charities. Smaller charities still have a long way to go.
For the last few weeks there has been an increasing uproar over the government's plans to limit tax relief available to wealthy donors who support charities. Initially this was heralded as a 'tycoon tax' but concerns and opposition have been increasing as it is now realised that the charities themselves will lose valuable and most vital support from generous philanthropists.
Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) provide a means for charities to incorporate and gain the benefits currently available to companies without the burden of dual regulation by both the Charity Commission and Companies House
Further to our blog of 11th July the Charity Commission have now updated their Compliance Toolkit: Protecting Charities from Harm to reflect the provisions of the Bribery Act 2010. We have copied the appropriate section below.
Imagine this - for one reason or another you have become somewhat attracted to the activities of a particular charity. Then it happens – you are asked if you would consider becoming a Trustee of this charity.
Great news for Charities and the "man in the street", cheques have been saved (for a little longer at least). An announcement from the head of the Payments Council (Mr North) said that plans to abolish cheques have been put on hold because an alternative paper-based system has not yet been set up to replace them.
The Charity Commission in England and Wales has recently issued guidance regarding Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs). The legal framework for CIOs was set out in the Charities Act 2006 but the exact details of how they will operate are contained within separate regulatory legislation.
The interaction between VAT and property transactions can be complex. The following questions highlight some of the VAT problem areas which affect charities. Please note that the VAT rules changed slightly for new buildings constructed or purchased on or after 1 March 2011.
From 1 March 2011, the VAT rules have altered with regard to the change in use of charity buildings. The changes affect charity buildings completed on or after 1 March 2011 which qualified for zero-rating on the grounds that they are to be used for a ‘relevant charitable purpose.’
As part of our commitment to the Charity and Not-for-Profit sector we produce Newsletters that we send to people who have requested them. If you would like to receive future newsletters please e-mail to the Charity Department E-mail and request them to add you to the mailing list, or contact one of our Charity Team directly.
Is this the most radical budget concerning charitable giving for 20 years?
George Osborne’s budget has introduced 5 specific changes to help charities. He described the changes as “the most radical reforms to charitable giving for more than 20 years". He said the reforms would support giving, "from the largest donations to the coins collected in the charity bucket”.
The 5th principle. In the Code issued in October 2010 the Charity Commission set out five bullet points by which the effective board will provide good governance and leadership by behaving with integrity.
Good governance and leadership is provided by board members working effectively together both as individuals and as a team.
The 3rd principle. Looking back over my previous two articles, it is all very well if indeed board members do understand their role and have the appropriate plans and systems in place to ensure delivery of organisational purpose, but unless the individual members of the board can work together both as individuals and a team, progress is bound to be severely hampered.
The trustees need to ensure delivery of the organisational purpose.
The 2nd principle: whether you are a trustee, or a member of the board or simply a responsible person, you are there to ensure that the resources available to the charity are used in the most effective manner to achieve the Objects for which the charity exists.
Congratulations to Colin, Manager in our Charity Department, who has been awarded a DChA -The Institute of Chartered Accountants Diploma in Charity Accounts. This now means that there are four members of the specialist charity team that hold this prestigious qualification!
On 20 January 2011, Plummer Parsons Chartered Accountants held an informative seminar for charities and not for profit organisations concerning 'Survival in Difficult Times'. The seminar was held in Hastings and attracted organisations throughout Sussex.
The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has today published the latest chapter of Protecting Charities from Harm, its online compliance toolkit for trustees.
Plummer Parsons' charity department specialist Andrew Griffiths will be co hosting a free charity seminar at Bannatyne Spa Hotel, Hastings in January in conjunction with Rix and Kay Solicitors and Ten Sixty Six Enterprise.
Supplies of advertising to charities are charged at the zero rate of VAT provided that the advert is placed on a third party’s time and space. This includes advertising on the third party’s website and the design and production costs of the advert.
The last week of October celebrated the tremendous contribution of around 900,000 people who volunteer as charity trustees. In its guidance 'The Essential Trustee', the Charity Commission stress the committment trustees must now make to their charity, involving hard and unpaid work and bearing numerous responsibilities.
Although I have been part of the charity team here at Plummer Parsons for something like 20 years, ‘governance’ is one of those words that I tend to avoid and wish had never been ‘invented’. Time was when, in accounts of charities, we used the time honoured phrase ‘management and administration costs’ but particularly since the charities SORP issued in 2005, the term ‘governance’ is the proper thing.
Most charities are unable to register for VAT as they only receive VAT exempt income in the form of grants or donations. Even the small number of charities which can register voluntarily for VAT, find that it is not worthwhile registering since they are only allowed to claim a very small proportion of the VAT incurred on their purchases.
Here at Plummer Parsons we know that when it comes to Charities, every little helps. Sadly, the temporary extension to the gift aid scheme which was introduced in April 2008 comes to an end on 5 April 2011.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury has today in the Spending Review announced the details of the Charity Commission's financial settlement for the financial years 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15.
Apparently the Charity Commission have received a number of calls recently from people who have been given misleading leaflets which suggest that the proceeds of a clothing collection will go to charity or charitable causes.
Plummer Parsons' charity specialist Andrew Griffiths will be hosting a free charity seminar at Sussex County Cricket Club in October in conjunction with Rix & Kay and NatWest bank. The seminar is an ideal opportunity for trustees and charity workers to hear ideas to help in these challenging times for charities.
The last target date for the introduction of Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO's) was "early in 2010". Unfortunately this has been delayed again. The latest statement from the Charity Commission says:-
Taken from the Charity Commission website (released 28 July 2010)
The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, is taking action to help charities and members of the public to be alert to scams or fraudulent activity which could affect the charitable sector.
With chancellor George Osborne announcing the widely-predicted rise in the standard rate of VAT to 20% from 17.5%, accountants have warned that some businesses stand to lose more than others when the change takes place.
Donations to UK charities have plummeted by 11 per cent in the last year to £9.9bn, according to UK Giving 2009, the annual survey of giving habits carried out by Charities Aid Foundation and the NCVO.