Who can run your charity's finances

When you apply for recognition for your charity or community amateur sports club (CASC), you must choose:

  • up to 2 ‘authorised officials’ within your charity to manage its tax, eg claim Gift Aid and file a tax return

  • 2 to 4 ‘responsible persons’ to be legally accountable for running your charity, eg a trustee, director or treasurer

You need to do this before you can qualify for tax relief.

Only the authorised official can contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about your charity’s tax.

Who’s fit to run your charity

You must be able to prove that all the managers who deal with your finances (including the authorised officials and responsible persons) are fit to run your charity or CASC.

This is sometimes called the ‘fit and proper persons test’.

You can do this by asking them to sign a declaration. HMRC has a draft declaration at the end of their helpsheet you can use.

You only need to send the declaration to HMRC if they ask for it. Keep it while the person works for your charity and for 4 years after they leave.

If someone doesn’t pass the test

Tell HMRC if someone can’t sign the declaration because of an event in their past but you still want them to run your charity’s finances.

Your charity won’t be held responsible if HMRC finds that someone running your charity isn’t suitable, as long as you carried out the test.

Appointing someone outside your charity

You can appoint someone from outside your charity to claim back tax on your behalf. This is called a ‘nominee’. You still need to appoint an authorised official within your charity to be responsible for tax.

Appoint your nominee as an agent if you want:

  • them to deal with your other tax affairs, eg your tax return
  • HMRC to contact them

Some nominees claim Gift Aid for many charities and are known as ‘collection agencies’.

If the people running your charity change

If your authorised officials or responsible persons change, fill in form ChV1. Save the form on your computer and complete it on screen. Then print it, sign it and send it to the address on the form.