To support its members and the wider sector, CTG has collated guidance and announcements to inform charities during these difficult times. This page is updated regularly and content includes:
- Latest news and updates
- Lobbying efforts to secure the financial future of charities
- Financial support packages and guidance for businesses
- Guidance, support and updates for charity tax and finance professionals including:
- Government updates and guidance
- Tax and finance announcements and guidance
- Charity specific announcements and guidance
If your charity finds this content useful, please consider making a financial contribution towards our work as we are reliant on voluntary membership payments from charities. A donation form can be downloaded here.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Further to the Chancellor’s announcement that, from August, the scheme will see employers share furloughing costs with the Government in exchange for greater flexibility in what furloughed employees can do for organisations, the Government has published the following guidance:
- Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Find examples to help you work out 80% of your employees’ wages
Survey on charity usage of Government COVID-19 support measures
To help inform its future lobbying plans, CTG is asking charities to complete a short survey (10 questions and takes on average 5 minutes to complete) on the extent to which they have made use of Government COVID-19 support measures. The responses received so far (almost 100) have been very helpful and have confirmed the value of the Job Retention Scheme, in particular. Please take the time to respond and share with colleagues. We are reading all the comments and aim to provide an interim summary of the results by early next week.
The IoF, along with NCVO and CFG, and supported by PwC, are working together to understand the current and future financial impact of coronavirus on the charity sector. They have published a much more detailed survey open until 25 May 2020. To fill the survey out you will need knowledge of your charity’s finances and budgets, as well as an overview of how your charity has responded in the crisis so far. Please respond if you are able to do so.
Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund – open to small charities
In response to COVID-19, the Government announced there would be support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, delivered through the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
Concerned that many smaller charities were missing out, the Charity Tax Group prepared a briefing for officials at BEIS, MHCLG and HM Treasury proposing that the eligibility criteria for the Small Business Grants Fund be amended to allow charities to make a claim where they would be have been eligible to claim for Small Business Rates Relief, had they not claimed mandatory charity business rates relief. The briefing was prepared with the support of sector partners including Small Charities Coalition, NAVCA, CFG and NCVO.
On 2 May, the Government announced that an additional £617 million of grant funding will be made available for distribution by Local Authorities. This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs and will be open to small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief. Information on the eligibility criteria for the Small Business Rates Relief can be found here. Broadly speaking, it is open to organisations with a primary property with a rateable value <£15k – additional eligibility rules apply if multiple properties are owned. You can check the ‘rateable value’ of your property here.
Guidance has now been published for local authorities and they key sections are reproduced on the CTG website here.
CTG Chairman John Hemming said: “Small charities have expressed frustration that the £10k Small Business Grant Fund is only open to organisations claiming Small Business Rates Relief and not those claiming mandatory charity rates relief. This is despite the fact that many small charities have properties of an equivalent size and have been equally affected by the COVID-19 shutdown and the associated loss of income. CTG, working with sector partners, proposed a tweak to the current rules to allow small charities to claim the grant. With current allocation of the grant funds lower than anticipated by Government, we argued that this pragmatic step could deliver urgent financial stimulus to small charities, at no extra cost to the Exchequer. The announcement that charity properties can be eligible for this additional grant fund is very welcome. While this funding is at the discretion of local authorities, this is a positive announcement for small charities that should ensure some are able to access funding that has unattainable to date. Charities are encouraged to look out for application forms being published by their Local Authorities and to contact them to demonstrate their need for this funding”.
Operation of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme during COVID-19 – update from HMRC
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, many small charities and churches are facing severe financial pressures as traditional income streams from lettings and face-to-face fundraising have dried up. Concerns have been raised about the operation of GASDS during the coronavirus crisis, given that many eligible cash donations could be lost. Donors that would ordinarily make small donations each week are asking if they can keep aside the individual donations that they would normally give and make them separately once the crisis is over, above the standard £30 limit. Receiving cash donations by post does not provide a solution as charities (often run by volunteer treasurers) are not able to bank any cash donations received during the lockdown due to restrictions on gatherings and essential travel.
CTG urged HMRC to introduce some temporary flexibility in the operation of the GASDS scheme by accepting multiple cash donations of £30 or under that have been saved up during the crisis. The submission noted that ultimately the cap on eligible donations would remain at £8,000, so there would be no additional cost to the Exchequer.
HMRC officials have now responded to CTG:
“In respect of GASDS, guidance on the eligibility for donations for inclusion in this scheme is clear in stating that claims can only be made on cash donations of £30 or less; and contactless card donations of £30 or less collected on or after 6 April 2019. The decision over what constitutes an eligible donation is one for the church/charity to make for themselves, rather than for HMRC, but the conditions for something to be considered a ‘small donation’ are clearly set out in legislation. Where it is the case, for example, of separate donations being given in a single envelope, then if the church/charity official is happy these are clearly separate ‘small donations’ (and clearly stated as such) then they will be eligible for GASDS, as is the case where separate envelopes are used”.
This is a welcome and pragmatic clarification from HMRC officials, recognising the practical difficulties raised by COVID-19.
If, for example, a church member puts £200 cash in an envelope and marks it as 10 weeks of £20 weekly donations for the occasions where they have not been able to make a regular cash offering, it appears HMRC would be happy for the church to regard them as eligible donations under GASDS. Alternatively 10 separate envelopes with <£30 could be included where these are clearly separate donations.
Thinking about practical next steps, charities and churches could also help to make it easier to distinguish such gifts by providing separate collecting plates/donation receptacles reserved for saved-up donations when the lockdown restrictions are eased.
Business Rates Reliefs and Grant Funds
CTG has updated its webpage on the rates reliefs and grants available in England, including:
- Expanded Retail Discount
- Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant Fund
- Small Business Grant Fund
- Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund
This will be particularly relevant to charities with a single small property or those that have a charity shop, museum, theatre, gallery, village hall, sport centre/club, scout hut or historic house etc.
As of 10 May 2020, approximately £9.1bn of the £12.3bn allocated to local authorities for the grant funds had been awarded (74%). This equates to 742,500 grants, from an anticipated 965,000 eligible hereditaments [NB these allocations do not include the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund).
- Welsh Grant Fund: Following representations by the charity sector, the Welsh Government has announced that thousands of small charities within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector will now be eligible for a £10,000 business support grant to help them respond to the financial challenges of Covid-19. The new £26 million package will support an additional 2,600 properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or below including charity run shops, sports premises and community centres. A grant of £25,000 is already available for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000.
- Scottish Grant Fund: Properties occupied by charities can now apply for the one-off £10,000 small business grant. The extension of the scheme is expected to result in an additional £31 million being made available to more than 3,000 small properties occupied by charities – including day centres, workshops and halls. It will apply to properties which are in receipt of any Charitable Rates Relief or Sports Relief, but are otherwise eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme.
Other recent news and developments
- Job Retention Scheme:
- Extension: A reminder that the Chancellor has announced that the Job Retention Scheme will be extended, for four months, until the end of October. Further details are expected at the end of May, but a Government press release has been published, following the Chancellor’s statement to Parliament. As of 12 May, 7.5m jobs had been furloughed with the Scheme used by 935,000 employers, at a total cost of £10.1bn
- Volunteering: In its latest guidance, the Government has reinforced its position on furloughed staff not being able to volunteer for their employer. The guidance states (addition in bold): Once you are on furlough you will not be able to work for your employer. You can undertake training or volunteer subject to public health guidance, as long as you’re not:
- making money for your employer or a company linked or associated to your employer
- providing services to your employer or a company linked or associated to your employer
- furloughed by your employer and volunteering for them in a different role
- Charity shop Re-opening Pack: The Charity Retail Association has published helpful guidance to help charity shops prepare for when they are able to re-open.
- Holiday entitlement and pay during the COVID-19 period: The Government has published an explanation of how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic (including for those using the Job Retention Scheme), where it differs from the standard holiday entitlement and pay guidance. This is a helpful and detailed document and charities would be advised to share it with their HR teams.
- Opting to tax land and buildings during COVID-19: If organisation are notifying HMRC of a decision to opt to tax land and buildings, they are normally required to notify HMRC within 30 days. Social distancing in response to coronavirus has made these rules challenging to follow so HMRC has temporarily changed the rules to help businesses and agents, by extending the time limit to 90 days from the date the decision to opt was made. This applies to decisions made between 15 February and 31 May 2020.
- Removal of charitable rates relief for independent schools in Scotland delayed: The Scottish Government has confirmed that the change has been delayed from September 2020 to April 2021, in response to COVID-19.
Charity Commission responds to Select Committee questions: The Charity Commission has responded to a number of questions from the DCMS Select Committee. Charity Commission Chair Baroness Stowell outlined how the COVID-19 crisis has presented a significantly changed context for the country, and for the Commission.
- Reimbursement of purchases of office furniture and computer equipment by employees: The Financial Secretary to the Treasury has announced that, as a temporary measure for 2020/21, employers will be able to reimburse employees for the purchase of home office equipment required as a result of the coronavirus outbreak without tax consequences provided that it would have been exempt if provided by the employer directly. Further details are expected mid-May. HMRC will also be given discretion not to collect taxes on any reimbursements of equipment from 16 March 2020 when mass homeworking was first recommended. You can check which expenses are taxable if your employee works from home because of coronavirus.
- Expenses and benefits provided to employees during COVID-19: HMRC has published guidance on taxable expenses and benefits when they are paid to employees because of coronavirus and how to report them to HMRC.
- COVID-19 roadmap taskforces: The taskforces are being set up to manage the re-opening of part of the economy from July. This includes a taskforce for recreation and leisure, including tourism, culture and heritage, libraries, entertainment and sport (run by DCMS) and at taskforce for places of worship (run by MHCLG). It is important to note that if you are staggering the re-opening of a charity garden or property, any attempts to limit this to members-only could invalidate any Gift Aid claims on membership subscriptions, due to the need for properties to be accessible by all members of the public. We are aware that charities have received feedback to this effect from HMRC.
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme: Applications for the Scheme are now open.
Lobbying efforts to secure the financial future of charities
The Chairman of the Charity Tax Group (CTG), John Hemming, has written to the Chancellor requesting immediate support for charities through the tax system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a meeting with officials, CTG Chairman, John Hemming, wrote to the Deputy Director responsible for charities policy at HMRC, on 3 April 2020, focusing on COVID-19 Response Activity by charities, cashflow issues facing charities and possible solutions, and practical administrative issues for charities including tax reporting requirements and deadlines. HMRC has now provided feedback on a number of these issues and updates are included in the hub.
On 9 April, the Chancellor announced that charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the Coronavirus outbreak. We await details of how the funds will be distributed, but we understand that support will be split between small charities operating locally and charities providing front-line COVID-19 support services. We appreciate that this will not support all charities and will continue to push for support for all charities suffering as a result of the current crisis.
This followed sector efforts – supported by CTG – to secure a special financial support package for charities. 236 MPs and Peers, from nine parties, have written to the Chancellor, Number 10 and the Charities Minister to call for further clarity and urgent action to support charities, including a £4.6bn “charity stabilisation fund” proposed by sector leaders. ‘ An Institute of Fundraising survey on impact of the coronavirus on charities had found that 43% of charities surveyed reported an increase in demand for their services but a 48% decline in voluntary income. The Charity Finance Group has published a short survey on how Government measures to mitigate the financial impact of coronavirus are working for your charity. Please complete it if you can.
The DCMS Committee has launched a call for evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on the charity sector – the deadline for responses was 16 April 2020.
Financial support packages
The Chancellor announced support for business and individuals affected by the Coronavirus in Budget 2020. Additional financial support measures were announced on 20 March building on measures announced on 17 March 2020, many of which will be relevant to charities. Some of these measures apply to England only. Similar schemes have been announced by Scottish Government, Welsh Government and for businesses in Northern Ireland. For more detail on any of these schemes, please contact [email protected] or follow these links. HMRC also has a number of webinars and Youtube videos on the various business support packages including the deferral of VAT and Income Tax payments, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the HMRC Time to Pay Scheme. Find out more here.
Business rates reliefs and cash grants
A detailed summary (including worked examples) of the Expanded Retail Discount, Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and Small Business Grant Fund can be read here [England only]
- Expanded Retail Discount Scheme: In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Government has announced that it will launch an Expanded Retail Discount Scheme, providing 100% business rates reliefs to businesses in the retail sector, in 2020/21, regardless of their rateable value. Full details here – please note that this measure applies to England only (although there are separate reliefs being developed in Wales and Scotland). This will be of particular interest to the following organisations which should be able to access reliefs: Charity shops; Sports grounds and clubs; Museums and art galleries; Sport and leisure facilities; Stately homes and historic houses; Theatres; and Tourist attractions.For locations in which charities do not currently benefit from discretionary rates reliefs, this will provide a very helpful saving, potentially worth hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities with large shop chains. Please note that local authorities will be rebilling charities in some cases having already issued a rates bill before the Scheme was announced. The Government has updated its guidance on the Expanded Retail Discount to reflect its assessment that the scheme is not a state aid and that local authorities should therefore award relief to all eligible properties.
- Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund: One-off cash grants (non-repayable) of up to £25k per eligible property with a rateable value <£51k, for organisations included within the Expanded Retail Discount definitions.
- Local Authorities are reportedly telling charities that the Government has requested that all grants are paid by 30 April 2020, so the costs can be reported. We do not believe that this is a hard deadline (even though it is being presented as such in some cases) but we are checking this urgently with BEIS. If your charity is eligible for the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund CTG would encourage you to process your claim as soon as possible, just in case. We understand that in some cases Local Authorities have been sending letters about grants (and PIN codes to enable access) to charity offices, so please try to check for post if your office is closed or contact the Local Authority directly. As of 27 April 2020, approximately £7.6bn of the £12.3bn allocated to local authorities for the grant funds had been awarded (61%). This equates to 614,000 grants, from an anticipated 965,000 eligible hereditaments.
- Also, if your local authority tries to deny the claim on the basis that you already receive 100% rates relief (and therefore do not make use of the Expanded Retail Discount) push back on this as it is incorrect and has been clarified in the BEIS guidance: “Charities which would otherwise meet this criteria, but whose bill for 11 March had been reduced to nil by a local discretionary award, should still be considered to be eligible for this grant”.
- Full details of the English Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund can be read here. The cash grant could be extremely helpful to charities with chains of shops, in theory worth millions of pounds. We understand that this will be issued by Local Authorities directly, so there is no need to claim unless you do not think the Local Authority is aware of your eligibility for the grants. However, there is a significant State Aid obstacle, which will, unless the current rules change, cap the overall income a business can receive from the grant at a total of €800,000 (approx. £700,000 depending on the exchange rate used). CTG has expressed concerns that this could seriously limit the practical value of the reliefs to larger charities, as any charities with a larger number of properties could quickly exceed the permitted State Aid limit for each grant.
- The Welsh Government has published guidance on the grant of £25,000 (per property) being made available for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000.
- The Scottish Government had previously announced that organisations with eligible properties could claim a one-off Retail, Hospitality, Leisure Support Grant of £25,00, if their rateable value is between £18,001 and £51,000. It was, however, understood to be a single grant per ratepayer. However, the Scottish Government has now confirmed that from 5 May 2020, if you have more than one property, you may be able to apply for a grant for each eligible property. This means you may be able to get a £25,000 grant on the first property. Then each additional property may be eligible for a Retail, Hospitality, Leisure Support Grant of £18,500. These additional grants will need to comply with the European Union’s State Aid rules, which limit claims to €800,000 per undertaking. This will likely be a single UK limit but we will be checking on the details of this. The Scottish Parliament has published an analysis of the support measures available in Scotland and England here.
- Grants for small businesses: In addition, a one-off £10,000 cash grant will also be available to the smallest businesses, delivered by local authorities. Small businesses that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief will be contacted by their local authority – they do not need to apply. The funding will be provided to local authorities in early April. Guidance on these cash grants can be read here. It is not expected that any small charities will benefit from these grants (probably on the basis of the existing charity reliefs available), but we have sought clarification from the Government on this and will keep members posted.
- Empty Property Relief: For charities whose properties do not benefit from the Extended Retail Relief, it may be worth talking to advisers about exploring a claim for Empty Property Relief where the Government has issued instructions to prohibit their occupation by law.
Job retention scheme (the “furlough” option)
- Overview: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended by a month to cover work periods 1 March 2020 – 30 June 2020, but it may be extended if necessary and employers can use this scheme anytime during this period. Under the new COVID-19 job retention scheme any employer can contact HMRC for a grant to cover the wages of their employees. These grants will cover 80% of the salaries of these retained workers, up to £2,500 per month and employers can top payments up if they wish to. HM Treasury will pay as many grants as is necessary. It is worth noting that charities can only make one claim per period, so it is important that all furloughed staff are included in that claim. Amendments are not currently permitted but we understand that HMRC is now looking into this. It is also important to note that the grant will only be used to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but are furloughed and kept on payroll, rather than being laid off. Therefore, the service is designed to be self-serve with guidance in place. If you use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf. If you use a file only agent (who files your RTI return but doesn’t act for you on any other matters) they won’t be authorised to make a claim for you and you will need to make the claim yourself. Your file only agent can assist you in obtaining the information you need to claim.
- Extension of the Scheme: The Chancellor has announced that the Job Retention Scheme will be extended, for four months, until the end of October. He stated: “By that point, the Government will have provided eight months of support to British people and businesses. Until the end of July, there will be no changes to the scheme whatsoever. From August to October the scheme will continue, for all sectors and regions of the UK, but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work. Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time. We will ask employers to start sharing, with the government, the costs of paying people’s salaries. Further detail will follow by the end of May but I want to assure people one thing won’t change: Workers will, through the combined efforts of government and employers, continue to receive the same level of support as they do now, at 80% of their salary, up to £2,500″. Government guidance has been updated to reflect that from August, employers currently using the scheme will have more flexibility to bring their furloughed employees back to work part time whilst still receiving support from the scheme. Employers will be asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff in a shared approach that will still maintain 80% support.
- Job Retention Scheme guidance: CTG’s hub collates and reproduces in full:
- HMRC e-mail: HMRC has circulated an e-mail to stakeholders with information for those still to make a claim (including a link to guidance) and those waiting on a claim to be paid (don’t chase if not yet received). Organisations are encouraged to retain all calculation information for claims and to beware of scams
- Parental leave: DWP has confirmed that furloughed workers planning to take paid parental or adoption leave will be entitled to pay based on their usual earnings rather than a furloughed pay rate.
- Employment Allowance: A reminder that if your charity receives the Employment Allowance, this should be used up before any claims for Employer’s National Insurance is claimed under the Job Retention Scheme. This Twitter exchange provides some useful background to this point.
- Claiming for more than 100 furloughed employees: HMRC guidance has been updated with information about how to claim for 100 or more furloughed employees. You’ll need ensure that you:
- provide only the employee information requested here – if you provide more or less information than required, you may risk delaying your payment and/or be asked to provide the information again
- submit one line per employee for the whole period
- do not break break up the calculation into multiple periods within the claim
- do not split data by contract type
- upload your file as an .xls, .xssx, .csv or .ods
- Bank accounts: Guidance has been updated to remind claimants that when making a claim they should only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted.
- Using an agent to do PAYE online: If you use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for you, they will be able to claim on your behalf. If you would like to use an agent, but do not have one authorised to do PAYE online for you, you can do that by accessing your HMRC online services and selecting ‘Manage Account’. You must be enrolled in PAYE online for employers to do this and will need to ask your agent for their agent ID. Your agent can get this from their HMRC online service for agents by selecting ‘authorise client.’ You can also use this service to remove authorisation from your agent if you do not want it to continue after they have submitted your claim(s). If an agent makes a claim on your behalf you will need to tell them which bank account you would like the grant to be paid into.
- The Department for Education has also published “COVID19: financial support for education, early years & children’s social care” including commentary on when it is appropriate for schools/HE sector etc to use the Job Retention Scheme.
- Accessing the online portal to claim under the Scheme: We understand that applications need to be completed in one session and will time out after 30 minutes of inactivity. Also there will be no e-mail confirmation so take a screenshot/print the confirmation and make sure you retain calculation information in case HMRC needs to review it in future. To access the system on GOV.UK you or your agent will need to have a Government Gateway ID and password and an active PAYE enrolment. If you do not have these, you can register for them at HMRC services: register and PAYE Online for employers).
- HMRC guidance for UK employers: The guidance is extensive and was last updated to reflect the scheme extension, fraud, claims for employees you made redundant or who stopped working for you, fixed term contracts, agency workers and retaining records. Also, a new guide has been published with information on holiday pay, employees returning from family-related statutory leave and sick pay, how to treat grant payments in Real Time Information. Plus, more information on how to calculate the claim for 80% of your employees’ wages, how much you can claim for National Insurance and pension contributions and how to claim)
- HMRC guidance on working out 80% of your employees’ wages to claim under the Scheme: You will need to calculate the amount you are claiming. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim. You should retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims, including records of the amount claimed for each furloughed employee and the period for which each employee is furloughed and a claim made under the scheme
- HMRC guidance on claiming for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Please note that HMRC will check claims made through the scheme. Payments may be withheld or need to be repaid in full to HMRC if the claim is based on dishonest or inaccurate information or found to be fraudulent. HMRC has put in place an online portal for employees and the public to report suspected fraud in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
- HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme calculator: Use this calculator to work out the figures you’ll need when you complete an online claim through the scheme. It’s aimed at organisations with a small number of employees. At the moment, it will work for most employees who are paid the same amount each pay period (for example, weekly or monthly). It won’t work for employees who: receive any top-up pay in the claim period; returned from statutory leave such as maternity leave in the last three months; get director’s payments have been transferred under TUPE; have been employed at separate times throughout the year; receive employer pension contributions outside of an auto-enrolment pension scheme. HMRC is working enhance the calculator to include these scenarios as soon as possible. If you cannot use this calculator, work out what you can claim manually using the calculation guidance or seek professional advice. It’s your responsibility to check that the amount you’re claiming for is correct.
- HMRC Step by Step guidance for employers claiming under the Job Retention Scheme: The guidance outlines five key steps 1) Essential information 2) Before you make your claim 3) Calculating your claim 4) Making a claim 5) What to do next). Remember, to claim, you will need: your employer PAYE reference number, the number of employees being furloughed, National Insurance Numbers for the employees you want to furlough, Names of the furloughed employees, Payroll/employee number for the furloughed employees (optional), your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference, Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference, Company Registration Number or Employer Name (as appropriate), the claim period (start and end date), amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks), your bank account number and sort code, your contact name, your phone number
- HMRC guidance for employees: The latest version of the guidance includes new information on how to report fraud or abuse of the scheme, fixed term contracts, holiday pay, returning from family related statutory leave, sick pay and agency workers). HMRC cannot provide your employees with details of claims you make on their behalf. Please help HMRC by keeping your employees informed, answering any questions that they might have. Please ask them not to contact HMRC.
- Eligibility for charities in receipt of public funding: DCMS has provided more details on circumstances in which organisations in receipt of public funding can furlough staff under the Scheme. This information was sourced by the charity Community Leisure UK, following support from CTG and other sector bodies: “DCMS has been liaising closely with the Treasury and I can confirm that all UK-wide employers with a PAYE scheme are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, this includes the public sector and charities. Employees can be on any type of contract, including zero-hour or temporary. If the funding for an organisation comes from a number of sources a judgement needs to be made on what that funding is for. If public sector funding explicitly covers staffing costs, then the money still exists to pay for staff and there is no need to furlough. If it does not cover staffing costs the organisation can furlough. Responsibility for that decision lies with the Accounting Officer of the organisation who pays the public funds so that they are clear there is no duplication“. HMRC has confirmed to CTG that it agrees with this analysis.
- Volunteering while on furlough: A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work, if it does not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation or a linked or associated organisation. In practice this prohibits volunteering for your own employer while furloughed. Your organisation can agree to find furloughed employees new work or volunteering opportunities whilst on furlough if this is in line with public health guidance. A petition asking that furloughed charity employees be allowed to volunteer for their charity can be signed here.
Business loans and guarantees
The Government has made £330bn in loans and guarantees available to support all business (e.g. to pay bills) and if demand is greater, the Government will provide more. This support will occur via two schemes:
- Government funding to support high-growth companies and research and development: The Chancellor has announced a new £1.25bn coronavirus package to protect firms driving innovation in UK. The package includes a £500 million investment fund (the Future Fund) for high-growth companies impacted by the crisis, made up of funding from government and the private sector. SMEs focusing on research and development will also benefit from £750 million of grants and loans. The Chancellor said the targeted and tailored help would ensure firms in some of the most dynamic sectors of the UK economy – ranging from tech to life sciences – are protected through the crisis so they can continue to develop innovative new products and help power UK growth. Further detail on eligibility criteria and fund operation will be published in due course. CTG will be working with AMRC and other interested parties to see if medical research charities can access any of this important funding.
- Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility: Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies. This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. All non-financial companies that meet the criteria set out on the Bank of England’s website are eligible. The scheme is now available for applications and more information is available from the Bank of England.
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: The Scheme delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5m (up from £1.2m), with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. Businesses can access the first 12 months (increased from 6) of that finance interest free, as Government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments. This appears to be limited to businesses with a turnover of <£45m. More details can be found here but one of the eligibility criteria is that 50% of turnover be from trading. CTG is working to clarify how trading is defined and will be proposing that is includes service delivery and also adopts the turnover test used for IR35 and the Senior Accounting Officers rules, which would exclude donation and voluntary income. If not it is unlikely to be accessible to very many charities. While the scheme will work for many businesses, it may in practice be less attractive for charities unwilling to take on loans on the basis that they are facing lost not deferred income streams and do not want to saddle themselves with unnecessary debt. The Chancellor has announced the following changes to the scheme:
- The current loan scheme will be extended to include more businesses, to include more than just those who are unable to secure regular commercial financing
- Lenders will be banned from requesting personal guarantees on loans under £250,000
- Operational changes will be made to spend up lending processes.
Tax reporting requirements and support
- Accounting Requirements for the Creative Industry Tax Reliefs: CTG asked HMRC a question on accounting Requirements for the Creative Industry Tax Reliefs, following queries from member charities. CTG highlighted that these reliefs are contingent upon audited statutory accounts for the entities but, in the current climate, auditors are saying that this will delay audits if they are unsure over the going concern principles – assuming audits are able to continue in the first place. CTG noted that one option is to disclose differently in the accounts but that another option could be for HMRC to relax the requirement for this and issue interim payments. HMRC has now responded stating: “These reliefs are contingent upon audited statutory accounts for the entities but you state that due the current climate, audits will be delayed and so you ask whether the deadline can be extended. As you know, claims for any of the creative industry tax reliefs are made at the end of a company’s accounting period and it is a statutory requirement for accounts and computations to be submitted with any claim. As the accounts form an integral part of the claim, this is not a condition that HMRC can legally relax.“
- Gift Aid on cancelled events: Members will recall that following lobbying by CTG, HMRC published guidance confirming that charities can apply Gift Aid where money due to be refunded for an event (including challenge events for which there will be registration fees instead of tickets) cancelled due to COVID-19 is donated (as long as a valid Gift Aid Declaration is held. A number of fundraising charities have asked CTG whether cancelled events includes challenge events for which there will be registration fees (instead of tickets) that would be refundable, if the event is cancelled. CTG’s initial reaction was that it should be possible as it was within the spirit of the measure, but we asked HMRC for confirmation and the response was positive. Full details on the process to undertake can be read here. HMRC responded: “We are happy to confirm that where such events are cancelled due to Covid-19, provided the same approach is taken as previously advised, e.g. where a ticket holder, instead of receiving a refund, donates the money instead, we will relax our usual approach. Under this temporary relaxation, where individuals choose to donate their refunded ticket/entry money, we will accept that the donation is potentially eligible for Gift Aid without the money having to be physically returned. A charity will need to retain copies of exchanges between themselves and the donor, specifying the amount that is being refunded/donated and the donor’s agreement to making a donation. Requests must not only ask whether a customer wants to make their donation under Gift Aid, but they must be asked to confirm that they are a UK taxpayer and have paid sufficient income tax or Capital Gains Tax to cover the donation (the standard wording of the Gift Aid declaration). All other requirements are as previously advised to yourselves.”
- VAT deferral: With the next VAT deadline fast approaching (7 May) HMRC has issued a reminder that while there is no need to apply for a deferral, there is NO automatic deferral of Direct Debit payments. Direct Debits must, therefore, be cancelled and charities will need to remember to set up Direct Debits again when payments resume. HMRC has updated its guidance to confirm which VAT payments can be deferred including payments on account & monthly/quarterly payments. Full details about the deferral can be found here. No penalties or interest are associated with the deferral, but this payment will need to be made by 31 March 2021. Guidance on this measure has been published by HMRC and can be read in full here. The deferral will apply to VAT payments due from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020 and all UK businesses are eligible (but not VAT MOSS payments). This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal. Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Please do so in sufficient time so that HMRC do not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of your VAT return. HMRC’s Joint VAT Consultative Committee (JVCC), on which CTG is the charity representative, has produced a Q&A on the VAT deferral. Through the JVCC, we have learned that HMRC will offset repayments against any debts existing before this announcement, but not against any VAT deferred as a result of this announcement. HMRC has also confirmed that the requirement to implement digital links for Making Tax Digital has been postponed until April 2021.
- Meeting imminent tax reporting deadlines: Many members may be concerned about their ability to meet HMRC filing deadlines that are fast approaching. We have contacted HMRC and understand that no definitive guidance has been issued, but the impression we have is that HMRC are likely to be sympathetic in these cases.We hope to learn more when we meet (virtually!) with senior officials in the Charities Team at HMRC on Tuesday. However, wherever practical deadlines should be met as HMRC have not confirmed what they will do where deadlines are missed. What we have agreed with HMRC is that it is advisable if any deadline is to be missed that HMRC are made aware of this in advance of the deadline. If your charity has a Customer Compliance Manager (CCM) this would be a useful first point of call. Otherwise you should contact the HMRC helpline.
- Company filings, AGMs and other general meetings: BEIS has published guidance on the requirements for organsiations during the coronavirus pandemic.
- HMRC helpline: All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. In addition to the VAT deferral available (see above) HMRC will consider deferring payments for Corporation Tax, PAYE and NICs where organisations are affected by the virus. If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559, although it is reported that these helplines have been very busy or read the guidance here. If you’re worried about a future payment, please call HMRC nearer the time. Please note that while there is no interest payable on deferral of VAT payments, we understand that any deferral of PAYE and NICs would be subject to interest – see rates here.
Statutory Sick Pay and support for individuals
- Statutory Sick Pay: HMRC has published guidance on claiming back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to COVID-19. The guidance details whether organisations are able to use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employee’s coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay. This HMRC calculator for SSP is a useful tool and HMRC guidance can be read here.
- Support for the self–employed: The Government has announced that the self-employed will receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least 3 months. This will be calculated by 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. Cleaners, plumbers, electricians, musicians, hairdressers and many other self-employed people who are eligible for the new scheme will be able to apply directly to HMRC for the taxable grant, using a simple online form, with the cash being paid directly into people’s bank account. The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment. To minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment and meet the above conditions will be eligible to apply. HMRC will identify eligible taxpayers and contact them directly with guidance on how to apply. The income support scheme, which is being designed by HMRC from scratch, will cover the three months to May. Grants will be paid in a single lump sum instalment covering all 3 months, and will start to be paid at the beginning of June. Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme but will be covered for their salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they are operating PAYE schemes. HMRC has also published guidance on claiming a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme. HMRC has also published guidance on how it works out total income and trading profits for the COVID-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme. Guidance has also been published on claiming a grant through this Scheme. DWP has also published new guidance ‘How a self-employed person reports their earnings for Universal Credit’ during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’. The Government has also published guidance on how different circumstances affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
- Universal Credit: The Government is increasing the standard allowance for Universal Credit for 12 months by £1,000. Also same amount increase for working tax credit basic element.
- Self-employed minimum income floor: For self-employed people, he is suspending the minimum income floor for anyone affected by COVID-19. This means that self employed people can now access Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees. The Chancellor has confirmed that work is continuing to ensure self-employed people are supported during disruption caused by the Coronavirus.
- Self-assessment payments: HMRC has announced that the deferral of payments of tax due on 31 July 2020 originally available for the self employed has now been extended to ALL tax payers due to make these payments under the self assessment tax system. This is only a deferral and tax payments will still be due for payment but not until 31 January 2021. The official guidance states that deferment is optional and any persons still able to pay their second self-assessment payment on account on 31 July 2020 should still do so.
- Protection for rental accommodation: The Government has brought forward a package of measures to protect renters affected by COVID-19. With these in force, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home. Additional information can be found here.
Other guidance and announcements of interest to charity finance and tax professionals
- Action Plan: The Government’s coronavirus action plan provides detailed information about the Government’s response.
- Government guidance: The Government has published a number of helpful guidance notes
- Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus
- Support for businesses
- Guidance for employees
- NHS guidance and advice
- Public Health England advice
- Business support website and helpline
- Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19
- Guidance on non-essential businesses and retail that must close and how those staying open should operate
- Coronavirus Act
- Royal Assent: The Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 25 March 2020. This legislation and related regulations outline which businesses can stay open and the enforcement and penalty regimes for non-compliance on social distancing measures at business premises
- Scottish Government COVID-19 support measures: CTG has updated its guidance on the measures announced by the Scottish Government to support organisations through the coronavirus pandemic. This includes the Wellbeing Fund, Third Sector Resilience Fund, access to business loans, business rates relief for organisations in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, and cash grants for organisations in these sectors.
- Welsh Government COVID-19 support measures: CTG has updated its guidance on the measures announced by the Welsh Government to support organisations through the coronavirus pandemic. This includes the Third Sector Resilience Fund, support for the cultural creative and sports sectors, the Economic Resilience Fund, business rates relief for organisations in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, and cash grants for organisations in these sectors.
- Support measures for organisations in Northern Ireland: CTG has updated its guidance on the measures announced in Northern Ireland to support organisations through the coronavirus pandemic. This includes a three month business rates holiday for all organisations and cash grants for certain organisations in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and a Water and Sewerage bills holiday.
- Business support in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: The Charity Retail Association has been lobbying the Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive to improve the operation of their Retail and Hospitality grants. In Wales, smaller charity retailers risk being excluded and in Northern Ireland there is a limit of one grant per undertaking. Charities should also note that the deadline for claiming the grant in Northern Ireland is 20 May 2020. The CTG website includes detailed information on business support measures available in Scotland, Walesand Northern Ireland.
Tax and finance measures and guidance
- Tax and home-working expenses: HMRC has published guidance on the tax status of expenses incurred by employees working from home due to coronavirus. The full guidance is reproduced in full on the CTG website here. The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has also produced a guide to help employees and employers understand the tax implications when employees are working from home.
- Protection of commercial tenancies: Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction. Many landlords and tenants are already having conversations and reaching voluntary arrangements about rental payments due shortly but the government recognises businesses struggling with their cashflow due to COVID-19 remain worried about eviction.These measures mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months. As commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent after this period, the Government is also actively monitoring the impact on commercial landlords’ cash flow and continues to be in dialogue with them. This will be important for charities both as tenants and landlords. Additional information can be found here and HMRC has also published guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities.
- Cultural tax reliefs: The Arts Council has updated its guidance on cultural tax reliefs in the context of the Coronavirus outbreak.
- Delaying Tax Payments (UK): During the coronavirus crisis it will be possible for charities to delay some tax payments. This helpful video (by an independent tax advisor) reviews: who is eligible; how to make the claim; how long you can defer the payments for; what to do once you’ve deferred the payments. NB since the creation of this video VAT payments have been deferred for the next quarter for all businesses – we will provide more information when further details are published.
- Bank of England cuts base rate to 0.1%: The Bank of England has cut the base rate 0.1% and increased its holdings of UK government and corporate bonds by £200bn, in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
- Off-payroll-working: Reforms to the off-payroll working rules, which would have applied for people contracting their services to large or medium-sized organisations outside the public sector, will be delayed from 6 April 2020 until 6 April 2021.
- Pay no import duty and VAT on medical supplies, equipment and protective garments: The Government has announced that certain organisations can now pay no import duty and VAT on protective equipment, relevant medical devices or equipment brought into the UK from non-EU countries during the COVID-19 outbreak. The relief can be claimed immediately by: state organisations, including state bodies, public bodies and other bodies governed by public law; and other authorised non-state bodies. CTG is grateful to Buzzacott for sharing the confirmation it received from HMRC that the onward supply of body bags by a company in the UK to an NHS trust that has charitable status will be eligible for the VAT relief when purchased by an NHS charitable body such as a trust. This is where the goods are purchased using donations that have been given to the eligible body that will qualify under notes 4(i) to item 5 of the VAT Act 1994, Schedule 8, Group 15 of “ the supply of any relevant goods to an eligible body which pays for them with funds provided by charity or from voluntary contributions to an eligible body or to an eligible body which is a charitable institution providing care or medical or surgical treatment for disabled persons. The item will qualify as relevant goods as the item will be used in furtherance of medical treatment, as the placing of a the deceased in the body bag will be regarded as the final act of medical treatment. When the item is purchased by a qualifying body, they will therefore be required to complete the certificate marked ‘Certificate A’ within the supplement to our Public Notice 701/6.
- Insurance: Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.
- Post from HMRC: HMRC has reminded charities that there are some documents that they are required by law to send to the taxpayer in hard copy. As HMRC are currently unable to provide e-mail alerts when such post is sent, it may be necessary for employees to go to the office to handle correspondence from HMRC.
- Gift Aid payments by HMRC: CTG was aware of some speculation about Gift Aid payments by HMRC with some reports of slow payments, while others had heard they were speeding up! We contacted the Charities Operational Team at Bootle and they told us “We have had a few IT issues due to remote working which are now resolved . There should be no delays in any payments going out and we are trying our best to get the payments out quicker”.
- Protecting against fraud and scams: The Government is aware of emails claiming to be from HMRC offering tax rebates as a result of #coronavirus If you receive an email, text or call claiming to be from HMRC that asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it’s a scam – see here for more information (it is not a scam, we promise!). The National Cyber Security Centre has also published guidance for organisations facing an increase in home working, and advice on spotting coronavirus (COVID-19) scam emails.
- Companies House filings: All companies must send their accounts, reports and confirmation statements to Companies House every year. If a company’s accounts are filed late, the law imposes an automatic penalty. If, immediately before the filing deadline, it becomes apparent that accounts will not be filed on time due to your company being affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19), you may make an application to extend the period allowed for filing.
- Procurement Policy Note 02/20 – Supplier relief due to COVID-19: This note sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during and after the current coronavirus outbreak.
- Contactless payment limit: Contactless card spending limit will rise from £30 to £45 on April 1 to curb spread of #COVIDー19 in supermarkets by cutting queues. If this is retained beyond the crisis, there may be a case for extending the eligible donation limit for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (currently £30) but the current rules do not automatically track to this limit.
- Spending Review: The Government has confirmed that the planned Spending Review, due to take place in July 2020, will be delayed, so Ministers can focus on tackling the coronavirus emergency.
- Tax Tribunals: All tax tribunals at the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) and Upper Tribunal level have been postponed unless proceedings can be held online.
- Gift Aid: CTG is aware that many charities are launching emergency fundraising appeals to tackle shortfalls in income. Wherever possible, please encourage fundraising teams to promote the benefits of Gift Aid to donors to maximise the value of their gift. The Gift Aid Awareness Day toolkit may be helpful in this respect.
- VAT correction: Due to temporary measures put in place to stop the spread of Coronavirus taxpayers can no longer submit form VAT652 by post. Email it to [email protected]
- Pay calculators and rates: HMRC has published/updated guidance for employers on National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates, effective April 2020, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Calculate your employee’s Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory maternity pay and leave, Maternity, adoption and paternity calculator for employers, Statutory paternity pay and leave, Statutory adoption pay and leave, Shared Parental Leave and Pay, Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay and Leave and Getting financial help with statutory pay
- HMRC to accept service of legal proceedings by email: Due to COVID-19, HMRC has requested that, where possible, new legal proceedings and pre-action letters should be served via email rather than by post. Further information can be found here.
- Annual Leave: The Government has announced that rules on carrying over annual leave will be relaxed to support key industries during COVID-19.
- Business loans: The Government has announced several measures to support organisations through the coronavirus pandemic.
Charity specific measures and support
- Guidance from the charity regulators: The Charity Commission has published specific Coronavirus guidance for charities, including a new section on finance considerations. OSCR has also published guidance on Coronavirus for charities in Scotland.
- Charity SORP: Due to the exceptional current circumstances, the SORP-making body for charities has issued advice on the financial reporting implications that may arise from the measures being put in place to contain the impact of the COVID-19 virus. The guidance considers the implications for the trustees’ annual report, going concern and the alternative basis to going concern when preparing accounts under the SORP. They also suggest that trustees may also find the FRC’s guidance to company Directors helpful when looking at their assessment of going concern. CTG Observer Member, Sayer Vincent, has published a series of helpful FAQs on accounting and going concern considerations.
- Gift Aid on donations freely given to charities and CASCs while membership subscriptions have been suspended: HMRC officials have provided a helpful reminder that donations given to charities and CASCs while membership subscriptions have been suspended (due to COVID-19) may be eligible for Gift Aid, provided they are freely given, no benefits arise in consequence of that specific donation (either now or in the future) or, if provided, they fall within the legislative limits, and a Gift Aid Declaration is obtained. Read more here.
- Practical relaxations to the operation of Retail Gift Aid while offices are closes during COVID-19: Many charities have now closed the offices in which Gift Aid claims are processed and are now working remotely. It is not always practical for mail to be redirected or collected. With Gift Aid claims due to be processed in April 2020, this has presented charities operating Retail Gift Aid Standard Method with several problems relating to Returned Mail and Oral Declarations, as they are unable to process either at this time, but still want to be able to claim Gift Aid. One of CTG’s charity members has been in conversation with HMRC’s Retail Gift Aid lead, Stephen Maudsley, and he has agreed concessions for both of these in the current climate and for this to be shared with the wider charity community – full details here. The advice has been provided in respect of Retail Gift Aid, but CTG will be asking officials whether the advice on oral declarations applies more broadly. CTG has also requested flexibility from HMRC on sending physical end-of-year letters in the light of the current lockdown.
- Annual return filing delay: The Charity Commission has announced that any charity that needs an extension to their annual return filing deadline can contact the Charity Commission to ask for one.
- Matters of material significance and reporting by auditors and independent examiners to the charity regulator: Joint guidance from the Charity Commission for England and Wales, OSCR and CCNI has been updated to give further examples and clarity on matters to report, particularly with respect to modified opinions. The COVID-19 situation has also been reflected to advise on reporting at times of national emergency.
- Co-ordinating volunteers: DCMS has confirmed that it is working closely with the civil society sector on galvanising volunteers and coordinating help to those who need it most. More details on the Government’s plans will be announced as soon as possible, where details will be set out on how individuals can play their part, and how larger organisations can translate their offers of support into help for those affected. The Government has now launched NHS Volunteer Responders (also this link) which outlines how people can volunteer to help the most vulnerable people in your community who need to stay home because of coronavirus.
- Giving safely during the crisis: The Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator have urged people to ‘give safely’ to charities during the coronavirus crisis.
- Fundraising: The IoF and Fundraising Regulator advise all charities to reflect seriously on whether to continue public fundraising due to the increased health risk.
- Matters of material significance and reporting by auditors and independent examiners to the charity regulator: Joint guidance from the Charity Commission for England and Wales, OSCR and CCNI has been updated to give further examples and clarity on matters to report, particularly with respect to modified opinions. The COVID-19 situation has also been reflected to advise on reporting at times of national emergency.
- Coronavirus and your charity’s finances: A free webinar was hosted by CFG, on Monday 30 March, including speakers from CTG Observer Members Sayer Vincent and MHA Macintyre Hudson. This was a very helpful session and a link to the presentation can be found here. A follow-up seminar is taking place on 23 April 2020 – register here.
- DfID funding: DfID has announced a package of £200 million which will back UK charities and international organisations to help reduce mass infections in developing countries which often lack the healthcare systems to track and halt the virus. More information can be found here.
- Sector funding:
- Charity Support package: The Chancellor has announced that charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the Coronavirus outbreak. Full details can be found here. The Chief Executive of ACEVO has published a useful summary of discussions with DCMS on the scope of the funding. This information is still to be confirmed but it provides a useful insight and highlights that unfortunately not all charities will be able to access this funding.
- Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Fund: This will support organisations across the third sector that are providing important services for people as a result of coronavirus. £10m has already been allocated for immediate priorities and £7 million has been committed to provide around 2,000 charities with small grants through Corra, Inspiring Scotland, STV Appeal, SCVO and Scotland’s Third Sector Interfaces. The remaining £33m is now open to bids from Third Sector Organisations. Charities can register their interest here.
- Charity funders: NCVO has published an extensive list of national funders that charities can apply to.
- Flexibility from funders: More than 250 grantmakers have signed a statement promising to support charities during the coronavirus emergency. They said that they would be understanding of difficulties and be flexible on reporting requirements and how funding is used. Other organisations in the sector have also separately pledged support and are reportedly considering further ways of helping.
- Arts Council funding: The Arts Council is making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and they have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of their funding.
- Extensive list of funding arrangements: Ian McLintock, founder of the Charity Excellence Framework has collated a very helpful extensive list of sources of Charity Emergency Funding.
- £100 million response announced to help social sector organisations through the coronavirus crisis: Charities and social enterprises will be able to access more than £100m in loans and investments as they tackle the impact of the coronavirus. Emergency loans and investment will be available to organisations “within weeks”, with no fees or interest to pay for 12 months, according to the announcement made this morning by a team of social investors. Big Society Capital (BSC) and the Social Investment Business (SIB) said that the measures are designed to help charities, social enterprises and some small businesses which may not qualify for other government funding schemes, but which are seeing their trading and cash flow disrupted by coronavirus. Additional information can be found here.
- Heritage Emergency Fund: The Heritage Emergency Fund is now open for applications any time before 30 June 2020. The UK-wide fund – money raised from the National Lottery – addresses immediate pressures over the next 4 months for those organisations most in need.
- Useful guidance from representative bodies and tax experts
- NCVO: Coronavirus guidance + finance blog + webinar with Bates Wells on key legal and governance questions relating to the coronavirus crisis
- SCVO: Voluntary sector information hub
- Institute for Fundraising: Information for fundraisers
- Charity Finance Group: guidance including updates on investments and cashflow
- ACEVO: coronavirus support
- Heritage Alliance: collated links
- AIM: guidance for museums
- Community Leisure: guidance for leisure trusts
- NAVCA: support for the VCS community
- Association of Charitable Foundations: guidance for foundations
- Small Charities Coalition: guidance for small charities
- ICAEW: Coronavirus hub for accountants
- Chartered Institute of Taxation: Coronavirus resources for tax professionals
- ICAS: professional resources
- Third Sector: archive of Coronavirus news
- Civil Society: what charities need to know about Coronavirus
- Guidance from CTG Observer Members
- Bates Wells
- BDB Pitmans
- Beever Struthers
- Bishop Fleming
- Chiene and Tait
- Farrer & Co
- Goodman Jones
- Grant Thornton
- Just VAT
- Knox Cropper
- Kreston Reeves
- MHA Larking Gowen
- MHA Moore and Smalley
- MHA MacIntyre Hudson
- MHA Tait Walker
- Mercer Hole
- Mills & Reeve
- Moore Kingston Smith
- Plummer Parsons
- Rawlinson & Hunter
- RSM UK
- Saffery Champness
- Sayer Vincent
- Stone King
- The VAT People
- Wilkins Kennedy
To add other guidance to this list please contact [email protected].
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