Should You Be a Registered Charity?

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There are thousands of charities around the UK and, although we often only hear of the few high profile charities that appear in media coverage, there are also many very small charities whose main purpose is to help local causes.

Some charities are ‘excepted’ from charity registration providing their annual income is below £100,000, an example being Scout and Guide groups. There are also some organisations that have their own regulatory body and are therefore ‘exempt’ from charity registration. A full list of ‘excepted’ and ‘exempt’ charities can be found on the Charity Commission website.

If a charity is not one of the few listed as ‘excepted’ or ‘exempt’, and has an income over £5,000 per year, it is a legal requirement for it to register with the Charity Commission.

There are concerns that many charities start off with small ambitions or single projects, but soon progress with fundraising and setting new goals for future years, and often exceed the £5,000 limit without realising.

If you have any questions on whether you should be registered with the Charity Commission please contact us.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Christine Green is completing LEJOG for Women V Cancer

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After receiving a bike for her 70th birthday last year, Christine Green, wife of Green & Co’s founder Hugh, felt in need of an adventure, and what could be better than to cycle from down south in Lands’ End, all the way up to her birth country, Scotland. Some of you may know this cycle as LEJOG.

With such a huge challenge, Christine was originally going to complete it without fundraising, but after a number of enquiries, she organised a JustGiving page, scrapped her PAYG phone and upgraded to a smartphone, and is even doing a daily blog.

So who is the well deserving charity? Christine decided on CAF – Women V Cancer which supports three cancers under one umbrella – breast, ovarian and cervical. This disease in any form is something we can all relate to, either personally or through family and friends and it’s one that impacts on all women from Lands’ End to John O’Groats.

Over the last 4 weeks, having planned her course using a mixture of routes from the Sustrans guide on National Cycle Networks and the Cicerone End to End route, Christine has been racking up the miles.

Now in Scotland, and nearing the finish line, we wanted to share her inspirational story. If you would like to follow Christine on her journey or support her by making a donation, please follow through to her JustGiving page using the button below.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Accountant Cycles 360 Miles and Raises £10,000 for Charity

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This weeks edition of the South Wales Argus features an article on Nick Park’s 360 mile cycle as part of the Leonard Cheshire Tour de Cymru.

A Cwmbran accountant successfully cycled 360-miles across Wales as part of the Leonard Cheshire Tour de Cymru team challenge; raising more than £10,000 in the process.

Nick Park, partner at Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors, braved the terrain of rural Wales as he cycled across five days from Anglesey to south east Wales, finishing at the Leonard Cheshire home in Llanhennock, near Newport.

Nick said: “It was a huge privilege to take part in the Tour de Cymru organised by Leonard Cheshire Disability to celebrate 100 years of the birth of Leonard Cheshire.”

Leonard Cheshire Disability is the second largest disability charity in the UK and it supports thousands of people by improving their opportunities and helping them to pursue their goals and to live full lives.

Nick said: “We travelled 360 miles visiting eight of the Leonard Cheshire Services in Wales. The welcome we had from the residents and staff was overwhelming. Their enthusiasm and engagement was inspiring. Many of the residents had taken part in the challenge by riding static bikes in whatever way their disability allowed. They were awarded medals for their enormous efforts and it was very emotional and humbling to see how much it meant to them. One resident at Danybryn in Cardiff said that taking part had renewed her determination to learn to walk again.”

Nick and his team has so far raised £10,537.

Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors specialise in business growth and tax minimisation for businesses across Wales and the South West of England.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Nick Park Is Cycling 350 Miles for Leonard Cheshire Disability

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Nick Park

Next week, Green & Co partner, Nick Park, is swapping his business suit for Lycra and cycling 350 miles across the tough, challenging terrain of Wales.

Over the space of 5 days (24-28 May), Nick and 9 other cyclists will be taking part in the Tour de Cymru, a cycling challenge around Wales from Anglesey in the North to Llanhennock in Monmouthshire in the South East.

The Tour de Cymru is being organised by the wonderful people at Leonard Cheshire Disability to celebrate the founder, Leonard Cheshire’s centenary year. It will take place over 5 days and during each stage there will be an opportunity to visit all of the Leonard Cheshire Disability services and to meet the staff and residents in those services who will be benefiting from the fundraising efforts.

Leonard Cheshire Disability is the second largest disability charity in the UK and it supports thousands of disabled people by improving their opportunities and helping them to pursue their goals and to live full lives.

The money raised from the Tour de Cymru will be used to support people who use the services of Leonard Cheshire Disability in Wales to have access to adapted sports and physiotherapy equipment, as well as helping disabled people gain access to sporting events in the local area.

You can find out more about the Tour de Cymru and the work of Leonard Cheshire Disability here.

What now?

We would love it if you could support Nick and his 9 companions by donating to this worthy cause and helping them achieve their fundraising target of £10,000.

Donating is easy, you can either contribute via JustGiving by clicking this button…

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Or alternatively, you can donate by

Texting LCTC65 + £ (amount) to 70070

We would like to thank you in advance for your support.

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Nick Park with the Tour de Cymru team at last nights press launch at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay. The two cyclists on the end are residents of Leonard Cheshire Homes and are using bikes adapted for people with disabilities.

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South Wales Argus Cover Our Successful Charity Day

4466188The South Wales Argus has covered our highly successful Children In Need charity day. Please click here to read the full article.

Cwmbran accountancy firm Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors has raised £441.29 for Children in Need.

Twenty-five members of the team took part in the fancy dress event and held a cake sale at the offices in Pembroke House, Cwmbran.

A big ‘Pudsey’ thank you to everyone who took part or contributed to a fun day and another amazing total.

Leaving A Charitable Legacy In Your Will?

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As a nation we are constantly presented with opportunities to donate to the millions of charities which exist in the UK, whether it be taking part in or sponsoring fund-raising events, dropping our small change in collection boxes or paying a regular monthly amount from our bank accounts.

It’s a fact, however, that around 15% of the donations received by charities in the UK come from legacies specified in the Wills of the deceased. One reason for this may be because such donations are exempt from Inheritance Tax for the purpose of valuing an Estate.

There are 3 ways an individual can leave a charitable legacy:

  1. By donating a fixed amount (a pecuniary legacy).
  1. By donating a particular item of value – perhaps jewellery, art or shares in an investment (a specific legacy).
  1. By donating a share of what remains of the Estate when all debts, costs and other pecuniary and specific legacies have been paid (a residual legacy).

In all cases the charity concerned should be named, its registered address and charity number clearly stated in the bequest.

Qualifying donations can not only reduce the amount on which the 40% rate is paid, but where 10% or more of an Estate value is donated to a registered charity, a lower tax of 36% may apply.

As always, it’s wise to take professional advice before considering making a donation for the purpose of reducing or even eliminating any liability to Inheritance Tax.  The rules for this tax are not straightforward, and calculations (particularly when claiming the lower 35% rate) are complex and should be undertaken by a qualified accountant.  After accounting for liabilities, reliefs and exemptions, your Estate may not exceed the threshold of £325,000 anyway.

Some charities are offering a free Will-writing service if you include a legacy to them, but generally speaking, it is preferable to use the services of a solicitor. Where a Will is drawn up by a charity, there could be an argument for “undue influence” if other beneficiaries consider a charitable legacy to be inappropriate.

It’s worth knowing that an Executor, with the agreement of the other beneficiaries, can change a Will, to make or increase a charitable donation in order to allow the Estate to take the 10% test.  In other cases, the cost of obtaining valuations of the various components required to meet the complicated terms of the lower rate, may deem it disadvantageous to make the claim.

Of course, you don’t have to wait until you are dead to make a donation to your desired charity – if your reason for doing so is simply to support the cause!

For more advice on leaving a charitable legacy, please contact Green and Co.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Charities And The Tax Man

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Comic Relief earlier this year raised staggering amounts for good causes, home and abroad, earlier this year, and with over 164,000 charities registered with The Charity Commission as of September 2014, many more avenues are available for giving to charity. There are numerous ways to give to good causes, and donors can save on tax too, making it very much a “win-win” situation.

Here are just two ways:

Gift Aid

Gift Aid is a form of tax relief on your donations which works by the charities claiming the tax paid by their donors at the basic rate. It means that for every £1 donated to a charity or amateur sports club, they can claim an extra 25p on top. This is simply due to the fact that a tax payer would need to earn £1.25 to take home the £1 donation, as the tax man would receive 20% (25p).

In order to gift aid your donation, you need to make a gift aid declaration that includes your full name and address along with the charity details. If you choose to donate via sites such as Just Giving, it is as simple as ticking a box, and you can also gift aid on things you give to a charity shop.

 Give As You Earn

Many companies have signed up to a payroll giving scheme called ‘Give As You Earn’, and if you are a PAYE worker you can make regular donations to charity.

Give As You Earn is run by the Charities Aid Foundation and allows you to make regular or one-off donations to charities of your choice directly from your pre-tax pay packet.  This means that part of the donation is coming from money that would otherwise be going to the taxman. For example, if a basic rate taxpayer made a £100 donation, HMRC would top it up with the £25 tax amount and the charity would get £125.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net