It was announced today in the Queen's Speech that charities will be able to claim top-up payments on up to £5,000 of small donations without gift aid declarations. This new scheme will boost income for charities and help reduce their administrative burdens. This proposal will come into effect from April 2013 with a top up payment of 25p for every £1 collected in the UK. This will apply where individuals donate £20 or less. The main charities that will see benefit are likely to be the smaller organisations who rely on bucket collections
On 12 May 2012 I will be taking part in a firewalk challenge to raise funds for Winstons Wish, the leading childhood bereavement charity. This special event is being held at the Jackie Stewart Pavillion Paddocks, Goodwood Motor Circuit. A team of firewalk professionals will provide me and other fundraisers with 2 hours of training before we embark on this amazing challenge.
Don Wales, a long-term Spofforths client is set to make a special presentation about the Bluebird K7 at a fundraising event for the Lions International Blood Research Appeal (LIBRA) on 16 May 2012. It is being held at a private motor museum in Surrey and I will be joining Don for the evening. All funds raised will help to cover the cost of two new pieces of equipment for the Haematology Department at King’s College Hospital in London, where health experts are developing new treatments for blood cancers.
Spofforths' client Don Wales made a fantastic presentation about the Bluebird K7, on 16 May 2012, at a charity event for the Lions International Blood Research Appeal. I joined 90 guests at a private motor museum in Surrey to hear Don speak about his Bluebird team and plans for a centenary celebration this year. He also gave a heartfelt account of his uncle, Donald Campbell’s, fatal accident on Coniston Water.
It seems that the chancellor has come to his senses and finally listened to charities with his latest u turn. He has now indicated that he will abandon the plan to cap relief on charitable donations announced on 21 March.
Join Spofforths’ Partner Mark Spofforth for the Rathbones’ Annual Charity Symposium at the British Museum in London, on Wednesday 12 September 2012. It is a challenging time for Trustees given the current economic climate, and Trustees and their advisers are being encouraged to attend the event to enjoy some topical discussion and share ideas.
I am pleased to see that the government have announced a u-turn on the charity tax announced in the budget. The planned cap of 25% or £50,000 (whichever is higher) on higher rate tax payers tax relief will still go ahead in April as planned but will now exclude the relief given on their charitable donations.
We are looking forward to the Worthing Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday 29 July and have a team of paddlers taking part to raise funds for the Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service. In our 40-foot Dragon Boat, team ‘Spofforths’ will compete in a series of races on Brooklands Lake in Lancing. The event will be opened at 9.45am by the Mayor of Worthing, the Chairman of Adur District Council and Tim Loughton MP.
Hope you are all enjoying this glorious sunshine, let's hope it's like this for the dizzy: Support for Diabetes golf day next Friday 3rd August 2012, this year being held at the fabulous Chichester Golf Club (Hunston).
There was a great atmosphere at Brooklands Pleasure Park in Lancing, on Sunday 29 July, as we took to the water for the Worthing Dragon Boat Festival 2012. Our fantastic team of paddlers and a drummer raced against 18 other dragon boats to help raise funds for the Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service. So far generous sponsors have donated £570 and we still hope to reach our £1,000 target.
The long-awaited report from Lord Hodgson reviewing the Charities Act 2006 has been published. The statutory review was established to look into specific aspects of the 2006 Act and whether further changes to the legal and regulatory framework for charities were desirable. Lord Hodgson, makes over 100 recommendations, which he hopes will be considered. Some are uncontroversial; others are described as breaking new ground. Mark Spofforth will be providing an update on the regulatory framework and expected changes resulting in this review at Rathbones’ Annual Charity Symposium at the British Museum in London, on Wednesday 12 September 2012.
The Charity Commission, the independent regulator for charities in England and Wales, has published new guidance on starting, running and supporting charitable disaster appeals. It is intended to provide information and advice to charities as well as members of the public who want to give much needed help to people affected by a disaster or other humanitarian crisis.
To celebrate the launch of the County Times Community Awards 2012 and our
sponsorship of the Charity of the Year category, Director of Spofforths
Private Client Services Philip Lansberry recently featured in the paper. At
Spofforths we work with many charities and Philip told the West Sussex
County Times what an important role they play in our community and how proud
he is to be involved with these awards.
The Charity Commission, the regulator of charities in England and Wales, yesterday launched the first in a new series of audio podcasts, designed to help charity trustees develop their understanding of their duties under charity law. Click here to find out more.
The October edition of Sussex Life is now in print and features our Tax Consultant, Jo White, who looks at some key issues that charity treasurers might face. Jo was asked to produce the case study style feature that is sure to benefit those who seek specialist charity advice. You can read the full article which appears on page 277 by clicking here.
The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has published an online Trustees Handbook aims to help charities ensure a smooth handover between departing and newly appointed trustees. The guide also informs new trustees about their duties and responsibilities towards their charities and explains how to make use of the Commission’s online services and guidance.
We look forward to taking part in a Bowling Bonanza, on Thursday 15 November, in aid of Children in Need. We have two teams competing in the charity event which is being held at AMF Worthing. Organisers, Bennett Griffin, hope to raise in excess of £2,500.
To celebrate the festive season, we are delighted to sponsor Horsham’s Christmas Charity Market for the fourth year. The special event is being held at the Carfax on Sunday 25 November from 10am to 4pm. Organised by the Rotary Club of Horsham in association with Horsham District Council, there will be a great programme of activities.
It was a pleasure to attend the West Sussex County Times Community Awards last night, Tuesday 20 November, and enjoy an evening of celebrations. We joined other event sponsors at Horsham’s Capitol Theatre to honour those who make a huge difference to our community. It was a very emotional evening as various category winners talked about their work and experiences.
Contrary to popular belief charities are able to carry out trading activities - and many do. The income from the sale of goods and services by the voluntary and community sector now makes up over half of the sector's incoming resources.
However there are significant tax implications to a charity's ability to trade.
In the latest edition of Sussex Life, Spofforths’ Partner Sarah Ediss provides charities with some useful advice about trading. Many charities do carry out trading activities and it is vital that they are aware of the tax implications
A record number of teams entered the Horsham Pancake Races, on 19 February 2013, and we really enjoyed taking part. The annual event, organised by Horsham Rotary and the District Council, was held in the Carfax and compered by children’s television personality Dave Benson Phillips.
We are co-hosting an educational seminar for charity trustees with Rathbones on Thursday 25 April 2013. The event at Pallant House Gallery, in Chichester, will begin with a morning of discussion followed by lunch.
The Charity Commission has opened an informal discussion on ‘new draft guidance for trustees about how to manage conflicts of interest’. This is so the principles and practical steps are explained in a clearer way.
A number of charities have unfortunately been the subject of donation scams. The scam usually involves a large donation being made on the condition the charity sends half of it onto another specified charity in another country.
Spofforths are joining many other Horsham businesses and sponsoring a giraffe in a project run by Horsham Unlimited alongside Horsham Rotary. The Spofforths’ giraffe will be decorated by Collyers 6th Form College, signed by a celebrity, and then displayed in Swan Walk shopping centre. There will also be a parade of the giraffes through the town centre during half term.
Horsham’s giraffe trail begins On Saturday 26th October from 10.30am and all 51 giraffes will be paraded through Horsham Town Centre starting in Swan Walk. Weather permitting; they will visit the Carfax, Pirie’s Place, Park Walk, East Street, Market Square, Middle Street, The Forum, and West Street before departing for their temporary homes in locations around the town, where they will be on view to the public. Everyone is then able to follow the giraffe trail to guess the names and admire all the beautiful designs.
Spofforths Lisa John has just returned from representing England at the European Champions Cup in Bratislava, Slovakia. This event is for Europe’s best bowlers to compete on a level playing field to determine the best of the best.
The West Sussex Community Awards are taking place tonight at The Capitol in Horsham and Spofforths Partner Sarah Ediss and Director of Private Client Services Phil Lansberry will be attending to present the award for the Outstanding Teacher of the Year category.
On Friday 15 November, Spofforths offices participated in Children in Need. Apart from the usual dress down day, each of the offices also devised their own activities to contribute to this worthy cause.
Individuals can ask for Gift Aid donations to be treated as being paid in the previous tax year. If they have made gift aid donations in 2013/14 already, or make them before 31 January 2014, the amounts can be carried back to relieve higher rate (or additional rate) taxed income in the previous tax year. Specifically, additional rate taxpayers with taxable income in excess of £150,000 should consider a carry back since the top rate of tax dropped from 50% in 2012/13 to 45% in 2013/14 so the same gift can generate greater tax savings through carry back.
Many people make donations of unwanted clothes and other goods to charity shops. If you have done this in recent years you will almost certainly have been asked by the staff in the shop if you want to Gift Aid your donation. This may come as a bit of a surprise because you were of the opinion that Gift Aid applied only to gifts of money! Actually you were quite right – Gift Aid is only applicable to gifts of money. This does not mean that what the charity shop is asking you to do is to take part in some tax avoidance scheme but there are some misconceptions on both sides about what is actually happening here.
Crowdfunding is a new source of funding which uses social networking platforms to raise funds. The most popular “platforms” or websites currently being used are “Kickstarter” which tends to be for creative projects, “Indiegogo”, “Crowdfunder” and “Crowdcube” which is an equity based platform.
With another financial year-end of Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) having just flown by we are being reminded of the HMRC legislation on payments made to Organists.
Following on from the decisions of three Employment Tribunal cases, Organists are now to be regarded as employees and not self-employed. The Church of England tried to argue that an Organist remains self-employed, but lost the case. This situation has prevailed since 2007/08. The Local Religious Centre exemption became defunct as of 6 April 2013.
Last month a final release came into place stating all unincorporated charities are now able to convert to Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs). The CIOs aim is to act as the ‘middle man’ between a charitable company and an unincorporated charity, giving trustees limited liability without being tied down by Company law.
Four Spofforths employees from the Horsham office are taking part in the annual pancake race in Horsham’s town centre tomorrow afternoon. The race is in the form of a relay and each member must complete the course whilst flipping their pancakes and adding lemon and sugar along the way.
I was delighted to be able to attend the Dame Vera Lynn Swing ball on Saturday night at the Grand Hotel in Brighton. The Dame Vera Lynn Trust runs two schools for Cerebral Palsy both here locally in West Sussex and another one in Norfolk. The evening consisted of a mixture of singing and dancing until the early hours with both ‘The Regular Joes’, an 11-piece swing and jive band and ‘The Swingtime Sisters’. They, together with Blake, Peter Andre and Hayley Westernra are firm supporters of this worthwhile cause.
Spofforths were the proud sponsors of ‘Dressed for Success’, which took place on 27 February. Dressed for Success is an exciting Horsham Unlimited (Town Centre Business Partnership) campaign, which, focuses on using business windows to inspire and delight Horsham customers. Shop fronts compete to have the best dressed window, and this year’s winner was ‘La Vida’, which is located in Pirie’s Place in Horsham Town centre.
One of the overriding characteristics of a charity is the willingness of trustees to donate their time free of charge or with only their basic expenses covered. This is important in order to maintain trust and confidence in the charity. If a charity departs from this it is important that they carefully consider not only that they have the authority to make the payments but whether a payment to a Trustee is in the best interests of the charity.
The Charity Commission is due to launch a new version of the online register of Charities in England and Wales. The register is due to be redesigned and extra information will include whether a charity belongs to the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) and details from the updated annual returns.
Spofforths Private Client Services once again took part in St. Catherine’s Hospice Make a Will fortnight from 12 to 23 May 2014. Director of Spofforths Private Client Services Philip Lansberry and Private Client Consultant Kai Lei Lee offered a number of appointments free of charge for people to make or update their Will. Rather than paying for the service, donations were made to St Catherine’s Hospice.
There are many different structures for undertaking charitable activities and the charity commission has issued new practical guidance (CC21a) on how to choose a structure and guidance (CC22a) on how to write your governing document. These core documents are accompanied by more detailed guidance on writing charitable purposes, choosing a charity name, recruiting trustees and applying to register.
The Charity Commission has launched an eight-week consultation on a number of proposals for changes to the Annual Return for 2015. The charity commission says it is continuing to focus on what is needed to support its regulatory work effectively, and has developed a number of proposals for changes to the annual return for 2015, including some additional questions.
The two new charity SORPs to be used for financial years beginning 1 January 2015 were published today - one for FRSSE and one for FRS102 entities. The new SORPs provide a comprehensive framework for charity accounting that all charities that prepare accrual accounts must follow.
Following announcements made in the Autumn Statement 2013, the Government has launched a new tax relief scheme for social investment, which encourages individuals to support social enterprises and also helps social enterprises gain new sources of finance. The Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) is being enacted into law in Finance Bill 2014 and will apply to qualifying investments made from 6 April 2014.
Spofforths are delighted to be sponsoring the Argus Community Stars Awards, which is now in its 13th year and is launching today. The awards highlight all those who deserve recognition for their selfless, brave or generous actions over the past year.
The Charity commission's latest accounts monitoring review has looked at accounts with net current liabilities. They found that of the 98 accounts reviewed nearly half (42) failed to address the risk in their annual report.
Spofforths are proud to be sponsoring an audience with Michael Morpurgo, author of the bestselling novel, War Horse at the Arundel Festival 2014. Michael will talk about his life making stories and about his brand new novel, ‘Listen to the Moon’. He will also read from ‘Only Remembered’, which is a collection of writing about the First World War.
The Charity Commission has issued an alert to charities as it believes that serious incidents are under reported. This prevents the Commission from assessing the full scale and nature of risks facing charities.
The Charity Commission has today announced changes to the annual return financial years ending in 2015. The aim is to give more information to identify risk and ensure sufficient information is available to make confident decisions about charities.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched a consultation on new draft legislation which sets out the qualifying conditions for community amateur sports clubs (CASCs), because a previous consultation revealed some clubs find the current rules confusing.
Don’t forget that Trustees’ Week 2014 runs 10-16 November. It is now in its fifth year and raises awareness of trusteeship, celebrates the great work trustees do and encourages people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference. It’s not too late to get involved - attend a local event, get involved in a Twitter Q&A or contribute to the website! Checkout the Trustees’ Week website which has lots of useful information and details of events http://trusteesweek.blogspot.co.uk/ or follow @trusteesweek for more information.
We have received very positive feedback from the delegates who attended our recent Charity Seminar yesterday. The Seminar, co-hosted with leading law firm Blake Morgan, focussed on the importance of preparing for succession of trustees, policies and strategies to deal with trust and important regulatory changes facing charities.
Spofforths Private Clients Services once again supported the Dame Vera Lynn Trust in their Will Writing Week. Director of Spofforths Private Client Services Philip Lansberry and Private Client Consultant Kai Lei Lee offered a number of appointments free of charge for people to make or update their Will. Rather than people paying for the service, donations were made to the Dame Vera Lynn Trust and a total of £970 was raised for Children with Cerebral Palsy.
Spofforths Private Client Services once again supported St Barnabas House in their Will Writing Week. Director of Spofforths Private Client Services Philip Lansberry and Private Client Consultant Kai Lei Lee were delighted to help the hospice raise funds.
We are delighted to announce that Mark Spofforth has been appointed a member of The Charity Commission’s new SORP committee. Mark has a large portfolio of Charity sector clients and also serves as a Charity Trustee and Treasurer, so he is well aware of the issues that Trustees face on a day-to-day basis. Mark works closely with charity clients to help them through the changing economic and regulatory climate.
In time honoured tradition our thoughts at Christmas often focus on spending precious time with family and friends, sending and receiving Christmas cards, feasting, singing carols and supporting charities and others less fortunate than ourselves. In Horsham food parcels are being handed out and the night shelter has already opened its doors to its first two winter visitors.
Following changes to financial reporting charities will need to decide which of the charity SORP’s they are to use for accounting periods starting on or after 1 January 2015. The smaller FRSSE SORP is for charities with fewer than 50 employees, an annual income of less than £6.5m and total assets of £3.26m or less, all other charities will need to use the FRS102 SORP for larger charities. In a recent consultation, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is seeking views on whether the FRSSE should be withdrawn in the next year. Regardless of the outcome of this consultation, it will be withdrawn anyway in 2016.
The Charity Commission has released a detailed guide on how to register a charity. Usually you must register a charity with the charity commission when your charity has over £5,000 of income in the year, unless you are a charitable incorporated organisation which must register whatever its income.
The 2015 updated online annual return for charities has now been released. The annual return collects data to update the register of charities, and helps the Charity Commission to hold charities to account on behalf of the public.
From 6 April 2016 the maximum annual amount which can be claimed through the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme has increased from £5,000 to £8,000 giving a charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs, an income boost of up to £2000 a year.
FRS102 is introducing one of the biggest changes we have seen in accounting standards. This will be implemented by charities through the new SORP 2015 applicable for financial years commencing on or after 1 January 2015
The Government has recently announced changes to charity audit thresholds which come into force on 31 March 2015. These changes include increasing the basic audit threshold from £500,000 to £1 million, meaning less charities will be required to have their accounts formally audited, although an Independent Examination may be required.
The Charity Commission has updated its guidance ‘ The essential trustee’. The guidance explains what the regulator expects of trustees and outlines their responsibilities, and is a very widely read and used piece of guidance.
The Charity Commission recently carried out a review of over 180 Trustee's Annual Reports and accounts. In a report published earlier today the regular announced that some charities spent less than 10% of their income for the year in question on charitable activities. 57% of the charities reviewed were able to provide explanations for the low expenditure but 43% charities were found to be significantly underreporting.