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Does your sports club qualify for charitable status?

Association fails to convince tribunal that target shooting merits charitable status.

In order to be recognised as a Charity a group of individuals or an organisation must be established with purposes which are exclusively charitable for the public benefit.

Recently Cambridgeshire Target Shooting Association (CTSA) appealed against a Charity Commission decision refusing to register it as a charity. The charity failed to convince the tribunal that target shooting was a sport that promotes health by involving physical or mental skill or exertion.

The tribunal noted the absence of any research demonstrating a link between target shooting and health benefits.

The CTSA argued that shooting was a sport that required endurance, coordination, fine motor skills and focus, and therefore the group had a charitable purpose under the Charities Act 2011 – the advancement of an amateur sport which promotes health.

The tribunal upheld the Commission’s decision that shooting did not require enough skill or exertion, as specified in the act, to be considered to be promoting health.

Further details of the case can be found here or for guidance on what constitutes a charitable purpose click here.

If you run a sports club and are wondering whether it is worth becoming a charity, the following may assist:

Becoming a registered charity has a number of advantages:

  1. Public recognition and trust – Charities are widely recognised as existing for social good. This can assist with fundraising.
  2. A lock on assets – Organisations with charitable status cannot use assets for any purpose other than the pursuit of charitable objectives. The assets of a charity can never be used for private benefit.
  3. Tax relief – Charities benefit from a variety of tax reliefs including:
  • Exemption from corporation tax on profits from trading undertaken in the course of charitable provision (primary purpose trading)
  • 80 per cent mandatory, and 20 per cent discretionary, relief from business rates (rate relief)
  • Gift Aid relief on donations from individuals
  • Stamp duty land tax relief on freehold property and leases acquired for charitable purposes.
  • As a charity you will not pay VAT on some goods and services. Find out what’s exempt at Gov.UK’s VAT for charities. 

Our Charities Team has many years of experience working with Charities. If your Charity or Club could benefit from our advice and services please get in touch with our Team.