Scottish review of charitable status delayed

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has delayed until October the latest stage of its "rolling review" of charitable status.

It says it needs more time to consider contentious issues such as the levels of fees charities should be allowed to charge.

The OSCR originally pledged to announce its decisions on the charitable status of 30 charities, including schools, care providers and membership organisations.

The group was selected as a representative sample of the kinds of charities considered a priority for assessment against the charity test in the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005.

The regulator says it needs more time to consider "complex" issues such as fee levels and other restrictions on access, and the question of charitable benefit for people that are not members of membership charities.

Jane Ryder, chief executive of the OSCR, said: "It is in the interests of clarity for the public and for the charity sector that such important decisions are not rushed but are the result of a thorough and well-considered process."

The OSCR has also published a summary of responses to a consultation on updating its public benefit guidance, carried out last winter.

Some respondents cited a number of concerns about the draft document, including its perceived complexity and lack of detailed guidance on particular charitable purposes and activities. Others thought the guidance did not deal adequately with the relationship between relevant Scottish law, English law and tax law.

The final version of Meeting the Charity Test is also expected to be released in October.

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