Many of our clients are engaged in supporting charitable causes both in the UK and overseas. This activity nearly always involves generous financial support, where guidance on tax-effective giving is required. Some clients seek greater involvement, establishing their own charity or donor-advised fund and playing an active role in determining the causes and charities which derive benefit from the fund.
Giving is often done under the Gift Aid scheme, enabling the charity to enhance the gift by reclaiming the basic rate income tax which the cash gift is treated as having suffered. Tax relief can be claimed on a gift of real estate to a charity, or a gift of quoted shares or funds which are collective investment schemes. With care, it may be possible for US taxpayers who are resident in the UK to make a donation in such a way that relief is available in both countries. Charitable giving is a complex area where specialist advice is essential. Giving money to charity can be a complicated and expensive process requiring great care as to timing, amount and method of donation.
For those wishing to establish their own charity, we have a team experienced in providing accounting and reporting services which is also used to dealing with the Charity Commission, Companies House and HMRC on a daily basis. On the practical front, the team gets involved in all aspects of administration of a charity. For instance, in addition to getting involved in budget and cash flow forecasting and ongoing monitoring of cash positions, we often operate bank accounts, raise cheques, deal with payment requests and provide a correspondence address so that we can deal with unsolicited applications for funding. We maintain accounting records, produce management accounts and undertake performance reviews. We also diarise and coordinate grant commitments, ensuring that they are approved and paid on a timely basis. We get involved with trustee meetings, preparing agendas, putting together meeting packs, attending meetings and preparing minutes. We can also provide general ad hoc advice and support on payroll and IT matters.
The team is experienced at having involvement in the policies and procedures of a charity. For instance, we can prepare or review policies and protocols to ensure that they are in accordance with the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (FRS 102). Additionally, we can prepare Fit and Proper declarations for the trustees, conduct annual risk reviews and monitor grants.
On the annual compliance requirements, we provide a comprehensive service. This includes the preparation of accounts and liaising with the charity’s auditors, dealing with completion of Annual Returns for filing with the Charity Commission, complying with Companies House requirements and offering a full company secretarial service alongside a registered office address.
We have deep practical experience of what is needed to run a charity allied to a hands on style of approach, and we can therefore provide support in a multitude of ways.