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How to avoid errors when claiming tax reliefs

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June 22, 2015 at 10:10

Nearly 70,000 charities claim tax reliefs worth billions every year. However common errors not only create problems for charities, but increase the costs for HMRC, creating delays and diverting funding that could go towards promoting the tax reliefs towards helping people to fill out their claim forms. Last year, HMRC provided a helpful ‘Top Tips’ sheet which charities can use to make the claiming process smoother. However, here is a quick overview of some of the top errors and some tips for avoiding them. Common errors when claiming 1. Duplicating the amounts of Gift Aid and Gift Aid Small Donations [...]

How much do we know about PbR?

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June 19, 2015 at 18:16

Today the National Audit Office (NAO) have published their report on the Government’s use of Payment by Results (PbR). I have drawn out some of the key points of relevance to charities. Contracts are an important source of income for charities Charities play a key role in supporting people and communities.By being close to their service users, charities often have a unique perspective on their needs and how to adapt services to meet those needs. My colleague Andrew O’Brien has written previously on the growing consensus that charities can play a key role in delivering preventative services. In this way, charities are [...]

Audit or independent examination?

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June 15, 2015 at 14:57

In light of recent changes to audit thresholds, John O’Brien from Community Accounting Plus discusses the options now available, and things you should consider.

What’s the latest data on charity sector income and expenditure?

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June 10, 2015 at 10:26

The UK Civil Society Almanac 2015 is here and as ever provides a wealth of valuable data. I’ve had a read through and drawn out what I think are some of the key findings for people interested in charity finance.

Government misses chance to integrate civil society into policy agenda

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June 2, 2015 at 12:07

What’s a cabinet committee? It’s probably just politicos like myself that get excited by the appointments to Cabinet Committees, but they are far more important than the much more prestigious Cabinet where only top level discussions take place. These committees handle the day-to-day decision making of government and are where the policy agenda of the government is hammered out between the various competing departments. Those committees on Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Economic policy are the most important, but there are a number of small committees which work on particular topical areas, such as the committee that has now been [...]

Be prepared: preventing fraud in charities

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June 1, 2015 at 16:24

This guest blog from Sayer Vincent considers some of the most common types of fraud in charities and how they can be prevented.

Section 75 debt reform – an opportunity we cannot afford to miss

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May 26, 2015 at 15:59

Last Friday saw the close of the Department for Work and Pension’s call for evidence on (the catchily titled) Section 75 Employer Debt in Non-Associated Multi-Employer Defined Benefit Schemes. I assume that most readers of this blog know what non-associated multi-employer defined benefit schemes are but for the uninitiated, these are scheme including more than one employer that are unrelated (i.e. are not owned in common or under common control) where employees are promised a specific monthly payment on retirement. What is the problem? Like all employers, many charities have seen their defined benefit schemes go from surplus to substantial [...]

CFG Live Blog – General Election 2015

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May 8, 2015 at 09:36

12/05/2015 – 19:00 – New Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson Rob Wilson has been reappointed Minister for Civil Society. It will be interesting to see if the Local Sustainability Fund will be put into place and whether the government will continue its focus on the social investment agenda. You can see sector wide comments on this issue here. 12/05/2015 – 10:10 – New Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (aka Charity Tax Minister), Damian Hinds Damian Hinds, MP for East Hampshire, has been made Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury which is in charge of charitable tax reliefs. Damian is seen [...]

What did we learn from the latest Charity Tax Stats?

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May 1, 2015 at 12:17

Blink and you probably missed it, but yesterday, HMRC produced its update to the Charity Tax Statistics for 2014-15. While this might not sound important, they are an important window into the finances of the charity sector. Here are three things that charities should take away from the statistics: 1.    There is still a lot of potential to grow Gift Aid The NAO believes that £2.3bn of donations are currently not being claimed for Gift Aid, so it is pleasing to see the amount of Gift Aid being paid out to charities increased by £130m to £1.2bn in 2014-15. CFG [...]

Five reasons to attend CFG’s Annual Conference on May 13th

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April 27, 2015 at 15:51

With just ten working days left until CFG’s annual conference (and with tickets on track to sell out), I thought I’d take a minute or two to highlight 5 reasons why I think spending the day at the conference is more than worth your time. There are lots of opportunities to network and meet colleagues. With an attendance of over 500 charity finance professionals, the conference provides a unique opportunity to share experiences and learn from others – over a hot, fresh lunch and/or a glass of wine at the drinks reception. The conference always gets great feedback for its [...]