Charity and CASC Information

Information on Charity and CASC Registration

Sport Northern Ireland have informed us it is no longer acceptable for Sports Clubs (including Athletics Clubs) to remain as unincorporated voluntary bodies, as many are. 

To comply with legislation, Clubs must either register as a Charity or as a Community Amateru Sports Club (CASC).

Some of the key features of each are as follows: 

Charity

  • The club must have exclusively charitable purposes. There are 12 descriptions of charitable purpose one of which is the advancement of amateur sport

  • Can get rates relief on property owned by the club.

  • Can employ staff.

  • Can apply for certain grants which are reserved for Charities.

  • Clubs should register as a charity if they wish to employ staff (now or in the future), own property for which rates relief could be claimed or wish to access grants which are only open to charities.
  • However, whilst there are some attractive features of charity registration, there is a stringent reporting and inspection regime.

Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC)

  • Must be open to the whole community, without discrimination.

  • Must be organised on an amateur basis.

  • Cannot pay more than £10,000 p.a. in total to players, coaches or other staff.

  • Must have membership fees less than £1,612 per year.

  • Reporting regime appears less bureaucratic than that of a charity.

Click here for the official advice from HMRC, published in May 2016.

Other Key Issues to Consider

  • Once registered as either a Charity or a CASC it is not possible for a club to switch or to leave. The only way to do this would involve the club officially disbanding and transferring its assets to a club or organisation with similar aims.
  • Before registering as a CASC or Charity a club will need to ensure that its constitution is compliant. A number of clauses are required and model clauses to be CASC compliant, can be found here.  Athletics NI has updated its sample constitution so if newly formed clubs adopt it they should be CASC compliant.
  • The requirements for a charity are more complicated and clubs should consult the NI Charity Commission website for more information. 
  • Established clubs will need to check existing constitutions and make the additions or changes if necessary.

Further Information