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- 25 November 2013 00:00
- in Government
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- Last Modified: 27 November 2013 03:24
The Government has announced new tax breaks for grassroots sports clubs across the UK in a move designed to boost sports participation as part of the ongoing London 2012 legacy drive.
Over 40,000 clubs could benefit from the expanded tax relief by being allowed to keep up to £100,000 each in additional revenue.
The expanded grassroots sport relief is an extension on the existing Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) relief – the Treasury have revealed.
The new relief system means that no club will be able to charge a membership fee of more than £31 per week while any club charging over £10 per week will have to offer alternatives such as special discounts for those who can’t afford it.
There will also be an increase in the amount that can be earned tax free from club bars, cafes and venue hire with clubs who generate income with trading subsidiaries such as bars or cafes able to donate more of their profits back into the sports club tax free.
This allows the club to keep more of the income from their own members and they will also be able to generate up to £50,000 from trading (increased from £30,000) and £30,000 from rental income (increased from £20,000) from non-members before paying corporation tax.
In addition, the scheme will be expanded so clubs can support promising players through a wider range of expenses for the first time.
It will encourage larger donations to sports club because local corporations and businesses who provide financial support to sports clubs will be able to offset their donation against their corporation tax bill.
"Many of the stars of Team GB started their careers in local sports clubs and I’ve no doubt they’ll be the breeding ground for tomorrow’s British Olympic legends too,” said the Economic Secretary to the Treasury Nicky Morgan.
"But the wonderful thing about local clubs is that they are open to anyone who wants to get involved; whether as a way of getting fit, or simply of meeting new people and making friends.
"These new rules will help community amateur sports clubs continue to offer a local, affordable place to take part and I hope that even more people are encouraged to become involved in sport locally.”
The reliefs already offered by CASCs include corporation tax exemptions to non members of £30,000 for trading and £20,000 for rental income.
They can also claim gift aid on individual donations, and are exempt from 80% of business rates.
The new tax breaks have been welcomed by some of the leading National Governing Bodies (NGBs).
"Football has over 29,000 grassroots clubs across England and we are looking forward to seeing more of them benefitting from the scheme,” said The FA General Secretary Alex Horne.
"The rate relief, tax benefits and fundraising opportunities that being a CASC offers means clubs can invest more in creating a great grassroots offering for the millions of boys and girls, men and women who play football up and down the country.”
RFU Development Director Steve Grainger was equally pleased.
"This scheme is vital to help those clubs invest in their facilities and people, whilst keeping memberships affordable, so that rugby can truly be a game for all,” he said.
"We welcome the changes proposed, and look forward to working on the detail to ensure the best possible outcome for clubs at this exciting time as we get closer to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.”
Currently, 6,000 clubs have benefited from the CASC scheme, saving over £100 million in business rates relief alone, and over £12 million from Gift Aid.
However, there are no changes on the status of PAYE payments due for employees - such as bar staff - at small clubs, an issue where some sporting organisations had hoped to see an alteration to the rules.