Tax reliefs: sporting chance

The success of our athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games caught the
nation’s attention and the UK’s medal haul demonstrated that elite sport is
producing impressive results. Keeping the momentum going in the run up to London
2012 and beyond is crucial. Increasing participation in sport at grass roots
level is a critical part of developing our sporting stars of tomorrow and a tax
saving scheme can help.

About £100m a year in savings could be made for grass roots sport through the
Amateur Sports Club
(CASC) scheme. Clubs have received cash benefits of
around £46m to 31 August 2008.

The 5,000th Community Amateur Sports Club was registered with HMRC in October
2008 ­ more than six years after the CASC legislation was introduced in the 2002
Finance Act. Despite significant work by many sports governing bodies, many
amateur clubs are still unaware of the scheme.

An estimated 40,000 community sports clubs in the UK have their own premises
and are eligible to join the scheme. What’s more, some of the more successful
Olympic sports have few clubs registered as CASCs.

Sports such as athletics, swimming, cycling, boxing and gymnastics each have
less than 100 registrations.

This is disappointing given that a number of registered clubs have been able
to fund part or all of significant development projects through additional
revenue from gift aid under the CASC scheme.

The biggest saving for most clubs to date has been business rates relief (80%
mandatory reduction for registered CASCs) worth on average £2,500 per club. But
another area where a little effort can lead to significant cash savings is Gift

Take up among registered CASCs is disappointingly low, with only 1 in 10
making Gift Aid claims which could see clubs reclaim an additional £2.82 from HM
Revenue & Customs for every £10 donated.

The Central Council of Physical Recreation has established a website devoted
to promoting the scheme and providing useful information to those wishing to

Community sport can play a role in keeping Britain healthy. A third of UK
children are now either overweight or obese and as well as lobbying government
to for further encourage participation, community sport needs to ensure they
first take advantage of the benefits available.

Pete Hackleton is corporate tax specialist in Deloitte’s
sports business group

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