Government cuts red tape for amateur sports clubs

The Budget document says that community amateur sports club legislation will be amended

Sports club legislation will be amended
Sports club legislation will be amended

The government will cut red tape for amateur sports clubs, it announced in the Budget today.

The move will apply to community amateur sports clubs, which use a legal form that brings some tax reliefs but means they are not regulated by the Charity Commission.

The full Budget document, published after Chancellor George Osborne’s speech to parliament, says: "The government will legislate to amend community amateur sports club (CASC) legislation to ensure it operates as originally intended."

Thea Longley, a partner at the law firm Bates Wells & Braithwaite, said community amateur sports clubs had been lobbying the government for a range of changes, and it was not yet clear which of these would be put in place.

She said the Sport and Recreation Alliance, which represents the clubs, had asked for changes to be included that would make it easier for CASCs to deregister and allow them to claim Gift Aid on some subscription fees.

She said the SRA had also asked for permission for clubs to pay expenses to players for travelling to home games, and to raise funds for overseas tours.

Longley said some community amateur sports clubs wanted permission to pay their players, but she was not sure whether the government would agree to this.

"Most of the likely changes will be technical matters that remove some red tape," she said. "The CASC form has been very popular, but there has been some clunkiness around its implementation."

The SRA was unavailable for comment. However, it has recently published a report, Red Card to Red Tape, which says: "CASCs should be exempt from VAT on capital expenditure – this could be achieved by including CASCs in the existing charity zero-rating relief on construction costs."

The report also says all clubs whose semi-professional players make up less than 10 per cent of the total club membership should be eligible for CASC status.

See our round-up of stories on the 2012 Budget

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