News story

Newly expanded grassroots sport relief to help local sports clubs

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Changes could benefit over 40,000 clubs.

Over 40,000 clubs could benefit from a expanded tax relief for local sports clubs, Economic Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced.

The expanded grassroots sport relief, which extends the existing Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) relief, will:

  • Bring in a new cap on membership costs. Any club that charges more than £10 per week in membership costs will have to offer alternatives such as special discounts for those who can’t afford it. No club will be able to charge a membership fee of more than £31 per week and get the relief.
  • Increase the amount that can be earned tax free from club bars, cafes and venue hire. Clubs who generate income with trading subsidiaries such as bars or cafes will be able to donate more of their profits back into the sports club tax free. This allows the club to keep more of the income from their own members and they will also be able to generate up to £50,000 from trading (increased from £30,000) and £30,000 from rental income (increased from £20,000) from non-members before paying corporation tax.
  • Expand scope for clubs to pay player fees and expenses. The scheme will be expanded so clubs can support promising players through a wider range of expenses for the first time. Allow businesses to donate to sports club tax free for the first time. To encourage local donations, corporations and local businesses who donate to sports clubs will be able to offset their donation against their corporation tax bill. This will encourage larger donations.
  • The reliefs already offered by CASCs include corporation tax exemptions to non members of £30,000 for trading and £20,000 for rental income. They can also claim gift aid on individual donations, and are exempt from 80% of business rates. These changes will mean that over 40,000 more clubs have the potential to benefit from these new rules, and this will provide greater opportunity for more people to participate in their local sports team.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Nicky Morgan said:

Many of the stars of Team GB started their careers in local sports clubs and I’ve no doubt they’ll be the breeding ground for tomorrow’s British Olympic legends too. But the wonderful thing about local clubs is that they are open to anyone who wants to get involved; whether as a way of getting fit, or simply of meeting new people and making friends.

These new rules will help community amateur sports clubs continue to offer a local, affordable place to take part and I hope that even more people are encouraged to become involved in sport locally.

General Secretary of The FA, Alex Horne, said:

The Community Amateur Sports Club scheme provides a huge boost for our grassroots clubs. It’s great to see the scheme reinvigorated in a way that provides more flexibility for amateur clubs and will allow more clubs to register to become a CASC.

Football has over 29,000 grassroots clubs across England and we are looking forward to seeing more of them benefitting from the scheme. The rate relief, tax benefits and fundraising opportunities that being a CASC offers means clubs can invest more in creating a great grassroots offering for the millions of boys and girls, men and women who play football up and down the country.

Steve Grainger, RFU Development Director, said:

The RFU strives to grow rugby across England and strengthen our 2000 member clubs.

This scheme is vital to help those clubs invest in their facilities and people, whilst keeping memberships affordable, so that rugby can truly be a game for all. We welcome the changes proposed, and look forward to working on the detail to ensure the best possible outcome for clubs at this exciting time as we get closer to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Currently, 6,000 clubs have benefited from the CASC scheme, saving over £100 million in business rates relief alone, and over £12 million from Gift Aid.

Photo by beefy_n1 on Flickr. Used under creative commons.