The rules are pretty specific and it is operated by the HMRC charities’ department in conjunction with the Charity Commission. Clubs are supposed to be open for all members, affordable, be non-discriminatory, not be open to the public to trade, they should only serve food and drink as an add-on to sporting activities, keep all income from visitors entirely separate from members, and basically operate as dear little clubs. In exchange they get a mandatory 80% rate relief and concessions over corporation tax.
So what happens in golf? The golf clubs operating this scheme/scam save themselves up to £50,000 a year in business rates. They cheat the system by opening to the public, with weddings and conference, by failing to keep funds from visitors separate, and they then try to get round the membership rules by giving memberships for as low as £1. “I’m a country member” comes to mind.
Anyway, after much protesting from us, the Charity Commission and HMRC launched a review of CASC and had a consultation ending on August 12th 2013.
AGCO put in two reports – one from Richard Haygarth FCA, who owns the Chichester Golf Centre, dealing with the specific questions, and the other from Vivien Saunders, our legal beagle, on information gleaned from many AGCO members.
England Golf lodged another. They kindly referred to the system causing distortion between member clubs and proprietary clubs which has given us ammunition to Europe.
Then the UKGCOA put in a report which suggested all the subsidies just went to England Golf. You pays your money and you take your choice.
- AGCO CASC submission RH
- AGCO CASC submission VS
- England Golf CASC Consultantion Responses 1 August 2013
- UKGCOA CASC Consultation
AGCO Report RH – AGCO Report VS – England Golf re CASC and a letter – UKGCOA re CASC
Click here and read more: CASC rules abused