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HMRC internal manual

Company Taxation Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Particular bodies: unincorporated associations: examples

There is a wide variety of unincorporated associations varying from small thrift clubs to substantial business organisations. In all cases, the facts of the particular organisation must be looked at.

Unincorporated associations can include:

  • various types of members’ club
  • investment clubs (see CTM40650)
  • thrift funds and Christmas or holiday clubs (see CTM40810)
  • voluntary organisations, including those set up ‘for good causes’.
  • religious communities.

Unincorporated members’ clubs are likely to be unincorporated associations. There is information about the tax position of members clubs in CTM40100 and online at (‘Clubs, Societies and Voluntary Associations’).

Voluntary organisations that are unincorporated associations may fall within the scope of ESCC4, trading activities for charitable purposes (see BIM24794 - BIM24797).

Religious communities devoted to prayer and contemplation may be unincorporated associations and not entitled to charitable exemption. ESCB10 allows concessionary relief such that the proportion of the community’s income corresponding to the maintenance cost for each individual is treated as the individuals’ income, with corresponding relief for personal allowances etc.

ESCB10

This allowed concessionary relief such that the proportion of the community’s income corresponding to the maintenance cost for each individual is treated as the individuals’ income, with corresponding relief for personal allowances etc.  The Enactment of Extra–Statutory Concessions Order SI2010/157 replaces the concession with new ICTA88/S508A and 508B which have effect for chargeable periods beginning on or after 1 April 2010.  It is odd that the provisions appear at ICTA88/S508A and 508B, as there were earlier now repealed provisions previously at S508A and 508B.  But that is the statute.

ICTA88/S508A and 508B

S508A provides for a share of a qualifying contemplative religious community’s CT profits (equal in amount to the annual income tax personal allowance for persons under 65) to be treated as the income of each qualifying member (which broadly means permanent members who have covenanted their assets or income to the community or its parent body).  If the community does not have sufficient corporation tax profits to be fully apportioned in accordance with S508A, a balancing amount of its chargeable gains may be attributed to the qualifying members under S508B.

Syndicates can present difficulties. They will be unincorporated associations if the members themselves control the syndicate’s business, though perhaps through managers who are directly responsible to the members. But where the management of the property is under the independent control of trustees, a syndicate will not be an unincorporated association.