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Community Amateur Sports Clubs

Volume 571: debated on Monday 25 November 2013

The Government are committed to delivering and maintaining a real sporting legacy after the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. An important part of this commitment is to encourage greater participation in sport at a community level and local amateur sports clubs have an essential role to play here, making sport accessible and getting people involved.

The Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) scheme provides a number of tax reliefs, similar to those available to charities, to support grassroots amateur sports clubs. After a review of the scheme it became clear that some of the original legislation was unclear.

As a result, the Government introduced new eligibility conditions for CASCs in the Finance Act 2013. These included provisions to make detailed rules in regulations once a consultation had taken place.

A public consultation on the proposed changes to the CASC scheme ran from 3 June to 12 August. The Government are pleased to say that there were over 140 written responses to the consultation. The Government will today publish a summary of responses to that consultation and will also outline the package of reforms they will be taking forward to make the CASC qualifying conditions clearer and more transparent.

The consultation responses document will be published at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/community-amateur-sports-clubs-casc-scheme.

The Government have decided to keep the rules as simple as possible for community sports clubs, which are mainly run by volunteers. These changes will make it easier for them to understand the CASC rules and will encourage other clubs to apply for the benefits of CASC status. These new rules will:

encourage participation in local sport by ensuring that clubs are open to anyone who wants to take part in grassroots sport;

encourage local donations by extending corporate gift aid to CASCs;

increase the corporation tax exemption thresholds for CASCs so that they align with those given to charities;

support promising individuals who may not otherwise be able to afford to play by allowing clubs to make limited payments to players; and

ensure that clubs can generate modest amounts of income and still be considered an amateur sports clubs for the purposes of the CASC scheme.

The Government expect draft regulations to be published early next year.

These measures demonstrate the Government’s commitment to supporting and encouraging grassroots sport as part of the Olympic legacy. The Government strongly believe that as many eligible amateur sports clubs as possible should benefit from the available tax reliefs. Therefore the rules governing CASC status are vital to the health of grassroots sport. The package of changes announced will increase participation in these sports clubs.