The GCMA, along with the NGCAA, have received a number of reports from clubs who have been informed by HMRC that they do not comply with the new CASC legislation. The clubs in question believed they had made the relevant changes required, to comply with the new CASC rules, but HMRC now disagree and are de-registering them from 1st April 2016.
One area which HMRC has taken issue with is Section 2.7.5. of the CASC Detailed Guidance Notes regarding membership for those who cannot afford the CASC club’s full membership fee. HMRC state that the cost for this membership, including equipment and anything else required to fully participate, should be no more than £520 per year. At least one club has been de-registered for advertising this membership at £520 with no reduction for the associated costs.
HMRC have also de-registered some clubs who have stipulated that only those on specified state benefits are eligible for the reduced membership. HMRC say that this does not meet the criteria ‘open to all’ as there may be prospective members not receiving state benefits who may also not be able to afford full membership.
It appears that HMRC are scrutinising the websites of CASC clubs and de-registering those that, in their opinion, do not comply. If a club is de-registered then it can appeal to HMRC however, as the club should have been fully compliant from 1st April, appealing successfully may prove difficult despite the initial lack of guidance from HMRC.
One other option, if the club has been de-registered and loses the appeal, may be to correct the issues HMRC has identified and then re-apply to become a CASC. Section 6.1 Deregistration of the CASC Detailed Guidance Notes does not seem to preclude this, however HMRC may think differently.