Charity or not

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by bignige, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. bignige

    bignige Member

    This may have appeared as a thread before. Apologies if this is the case.

    My band wish to explore charitable status. What experiences have other bands faced? Was setting up easy or complex? What happens after charitable status achieved - is it bureaucratic or simple? Has it been beneficial and what are the main benefits?

    Any advice would be appreciated - both good and bad.

  2. 1st Position

    1st Position Member

    East Yorkshire
    As far as I know, setting up was relatively easy. Some form filling, and the need to provide the Charity Commission with some records (band history, constitution, accounts, etc), and get osme of the Band to stand as trustees.

    Once registered, nothing much seems to happen until you have completed a full financial year as a charity. Then there is quite a bit of work to do. We have just got to that point, and you need to have an independant financial review carried out. An accountant has now got basically everything from me to do with the Band finances going back to 2000. Apparently it's not that bad if you have had regular audits, and once the first review has been done, then future years shouldn't be so bad. You also need to register with the Inland Revenue so that as a Charity you can claim the gift aid back. Then someone (probably the poor treasurer) has to go through the accounts and work out what can be claimed as gift aid, and submit the relevant forms on a yearly basis. Well thats what we have done so far!
  3. Temporary Noble

    Temporary Noble Member

    West Yorkshire
    Wetherby have been a charity for quite a while, so I don't know what was involved in the first place.

    Gift Aid is a useful benefit, we do get a nice rebate back every year, which is money for nothing (well, nothing except the paperwork - i think it took a bit of getting going).

    I'm not really sure what else it allows us to do!

    There are categories of charity depending on turnover, and they dictate the level of account keeping and auditing that is required. If you can keep income and expenditure each below £10k you don't need an accountant - I think a lot of bands will be able to manage this - the treasurer needs to keep a track of the running totals throughout the year...

    TIMBONE Active Member

    As far as I know, one of the financial benefits of being a Registered Charity (and a very good one) is that you can re-claim VAT on any band purchases.
  5. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    we have found it easier to get grants as we are a registered charity. also when out collecting because we have our charity no on the tins and the collectors id it seems to make the public a bit more secure in giving donations
  6. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Not sure this is 100% accurate and have asked the treasurer of an Orchestral charity I'm involved with for the full answer. (He's also an accountant btw)
  7. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Surely to claim back VAT you'd have to be VAT registered and then would need to charge VAT on services. Interesting to know if this is the case though - presummably any lottery money awards would then be made "VAT" free also otherwise a band with charitable status would get a nice little earner out of that one.
  8. alanbry

    alanbry Member

    My band is a registered charity. The advantages are 80 % rate relief - can be 100% if local authority are inclined. Gift aid relief on subscriptions and donations from individuals. This amounts to £2.80 for every £10 subscription or donation. You also can claim Gift Aid on Sponsored Events but you have to ensure you use the correct format which can be found on Inland Revenues website.

    You will have to register with Inland Revenue and justify the subscriptions in a way that is acceptable to the Inland Revenue.

    Your constitution may need to be changed and you will have to appoint Charity Trustees. We used Band Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Bandmaster.

    As far as VAT is concerned my understanding is you cannot claim this back on purchases and if anyone knows better please let me know.

    Disadvantages are you have to complete an Annual Return which is fairly simple and can be completed on line. Your accounts may to be signed off by an independent accountant if they exceed a certain income level.

    The advantages financially far outway the administrative requirements. Bands who are not charities should in theory also register with Inland Revenue for dispensation from Corporation Tax.

    Hope this helps - if you need copies of constitution, letters to inland revenue etc let me know.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2006
  9. bignige

    bignige Member

    Thanks for all the comments so far.
    At present my band has registered for Corporation Tax and we get 80% rate relief so it is seeing what other benefits there are. Our constitution was reviewed about 8 years ago but would need to be looked at again for charitable status - we have Band Trustees but are charitable ones different.

    We were aware of Gift Aid but not sure how far it extends. Member subsriptions and concert tickets - are these included?

    Have BFBB produced any guidance?
  10. DentonFlugel

    DentonFlugel New Member


    I am just starting to look at the pros and cons of this myself after just joining my bands committee. Did you go ahead with it and if so, how has it been?

    Any more comments or experiences from anyone?

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