Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) – Tax and Trainers

I could be described as a binge runner. Once the buckle on my belt needs to go up a notch ( normally after holidays and Christmas) I select an organised run and train hard until race day or until I get injured.

Talking of which I have just recovered from a herniated disc in my back, so I was a little out of shape this time round. The pain suffered from this injury was like listening to a Justin Bieber album on repeat. For those women amongst you who complain about the pain of child birth, I say man up. I imagine, compared to my back, having a baby is like being tickled with a feather!

Any way I digress…My current goal is to achieve a sub 45:00 10k. Part of my motivation includes goading two other runners in the office on similar levels. One of which has completed a marathon on every continent ( yes including the antarctic). The other is one of those annoying people who seems to have a core level of fitness which enables him to run similar times with the minimum amount of effort (git!). We will be duelling it out at my local 10k at the end of the month so I will let you know if I’m victorious.

After moving to Saffron Walden I noticed that there was a local running club called the Saffron Walden Striders. From their website and Facebook page they seemed a friendly bunch. I therefore arranged to pop down to join at my local leisure centre, I was impressed with the turnout on their annual club night. Although from personal experience they must be experts in mountaineering considering the amount of hills in the area. Due to the children I have not been able to run with them yet but I am looking forward to the clubs local event, the Saffron Walden 10k.

If you fancy taking part the entry form can be found here.
I am told it is a well organised and fun event so get your trainers on and head down.

In view of the friendly welcome and the great organisation I had no qualms handing over a cheque for annual membership. But is there a more tax efficient way of funding similar club fees?

The Tax Bit

Most of you will be familiar with the concept of charities and gift aid. If you are a higher rate tax payer and donate to a charity then you will receive 25p for every £1 through your tax return. The charity can also claim 25p back from the government.

From April 2002 a sports club that qualifies can register as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) and will benefit from the same tax reliefs. In addition CASC benefit from rates reductions with the local council.

If it is right for the club then registration would generate some welcome additional funds. There are a number of hoops to jump through so make sure the club meets all the conditions but the main ones are:

a) be open to the whole community
b) be organised on an amateur basis
c) have as its main purpose providing facilities for, and promoting
participation in one or more eligible sports

Eligible sports include running clubs, Sunday League Football clubs and even golf clubs. A full list is available here

A point to consider is that subscription fees do not count towards the gift aid donations. Therefore my £20 would not qualify. If however the subscription fee was £5 with a suggested donation of £15 then the £15 would qualify. The only downside is that the donation would have to be solely voluntary and therefor the club would run the risk of not receiving three quarters of the fundss it needed.The club would therefore need to carefully consider the benefits of claiming gift aid against the risk of reduced membership fees,
More information on CASC can be found here
or ask me a question below!

I’m hoping to compete in the Saffron Walden 10k at the end of this month so fingers crossed I don’t get injured. Although after my child birth comment that is far from guaranteed!

By Peter Cross

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