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Charity Law Update

We are grateful to Anthony Collins Solicitors for their support for the Governance Hub. They regularly provide updates on charity law at meetings and you can sign up to receive regular charity law e-briefings via their website or contact them about any legal services.

Below are some recent highlights of law and procedural changes that affect charitie.

Confirmation Statements and Registers of People with Significant Control. From 30 June 2016, if your charity is a UK company (usually a company limited by guarantee), then you will now need to file a ‘confirmation statement’ at Companies House in place of an annual return.Visit the Anthony Collins website for more inmformation.

Charity Annual Returns and accounts: Anthony Collins have produced introductory guide to help in the preparation of Annual Returns.  if you are registered with the Charity Commission. Visit their guidance page

Accruals accounts – guidance and templates: The Charity Commission has published the following, to help non-company charities with incomes of less than £500,000 prepare their trustees’ annual report and accrual accounts in accordance with Charities SORP FRS 102:

Trustees Oversight of Fundraising – New Guidance: The Charity Commission has reviewed and revised its guidance on fundrasing in light of the attention caused by the fundraising scandals of summer 2015. The Fundraising Regulator plans to review and update the Code of Fundraising Practice on a rolling basis. “As a regulator, we will make sure that we assess the impacts of any amendments to the code, by issuing a consultation. The first phase of Code review will cover several specific best practice issues, as well as the practicality of its presentation to ensure that fundraisers are fully enabled to use it. We will issue consultation in early 2017.” The Institute of Fundraising has launched a new free handbook called Trustees and Fundraising: A practical handbook to complement the official Charity Commission CC20 guidance on fundraising for trustees.

Thinking about converting to a CIO?:  Those working in the charity and social enterprise sector know that a good legal structure enables an organisation to work effectively to achieve its aims. Anthony Collins have produced guidance on converting to a CIO.

Pension Costs – mixed news for employers: There is mixed news for employers on pension contribution costs with the Government deciding to extend the minimum contribution timetable for auto-enrolment but freezing the level of earnings at which staff qualify for auto-enrolment. By now most charities should have set up their auto-enrolment qualifying pension scheme with the rest due in 2017. You should check your duties on teh Pension Regulators wesbite.

National Insurance: The new rules for the collection of Class 2 contributions came into effect in April 2015. The Chancellor also announced the abolition of Class 2 in the next few years. This will mean the removal of Class 2 VDW category for volunteers working overseas, and the need to pay the higher rate of Class 3 to protect pension rights. The employment allowance was raised to a £3,000 reduction in employer national insurance contributions (NICs) bills each year.