Registering as a Community Amateur Sports Club with HMRC

If your sports club registers with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) you can benefit from various tax advantages, for example claiming back tax on Gift Aid donations, tax relief on the Corporation Tax you pay on income and capital gains, and non-domestic rates relief.

The CASC scheme is open to qualifying sports clubs in other European Member States or relevant territories as well as clubs in the UK.

To register, your club has to meet certain conditions. The HMRC CASC Unit decides whether the conditions for registration have been met. CASC status is only available to clubs involved in eligible sports as decided by the Sports Council.

This guide explains how your club can qualify as a CASC, and how to go about registering and deregistering.

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Qualifying conditions for CASC status

To register as a CASC, your club must be set up with a formal constitution (for example its rules or memorandum and articles of association). The club's written constitution must require the club to meet certain conditions, and the club must also be able to show that it actually meets these conditions in practice.

The conditions are that:

  • the club must be open to the whole community
  • the club's main purpose must be to provide facilities for eligible sports, and to encourage people to take part in them
  • the club must be organised on an amateur basis

The club must also be able to show that:

  • it is set up and provides its facilities in an eligible area
  • it is managed by fit and proper persons

The following sections explain what the conditions mean and what you'll have to do to satisfy them.

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Open to the whole community

Your club is open to the whole community if:

  • anyone can be a member - without discrimination
  • all the members can use the facilities - without discrimination
  • the level of fees doesn't discourage membership or use of the facilities

Discrimination

When you're deciding who can join or how members can use the club's facilities, you mustn't discriminate at all, for example on the grounds of:

  • ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or beliefs
  • sex, age or disability - except when it's necessary for taking part in a particular sport

You can have different classes of membership that depend on:

  • the age of the member
  • whether the member is a student
  • whether the member is waged or unwaged
  • whether the member is a playing or a non-playing member
  • how far from the club the member lives
  • restrictions on the days or times when the member can use the club's facilities

As long as you're not discriminating, you can refuse or cancel membership in order to maintain:

  • the best interests of the sport
  • the good conduct and interests of the club

Level of fees

You must set fees at a level that most members of the community can afford. They mustn't be an obstacle to membership or to the use of its facilities. If the sport is an expensive one, like sailing or polo, your club must show that it's done what it can to make it affordable for the majority of people.

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Providing facilities and encouraging participation in eligible sports

Your club doesn't need to have its own facilities for members to use when they take part in eligible sports. If it hires facilities for its members it would still be providing facilities. So, if you regularly hire facilities at a local authority leisure centre so that your members can take part in an eligible sport - this would be providing facilities.

It might be possible for your club to register as a CASC even if you haven't got any premises and you just provide equipment and organisation. For example, a cycling club with no premises that organises social or training rides and open competitions is likely to qualify.

However it's not enough just to provide facilities. Your club's main purpose must also include encouraging all its members to take part in eligible sports, whatever their ability.

You'll find a list of eligible sports on the HMRC website.

Check which activities are recognised as eligible sports

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Organised on an amateur basis

HMRC will accept that your club is organised on an amateur basis if:

  • it's non-profit making
  • it only provides its members and their guests with the sort of benefits an amateur sports club would normally provide
  • its rules say that if the club is wound up, whatever's left after paying what it owes will be used for approved sporting or charitable purposes

Non-profit making

Your club will qualify as non-profit making if its rules say that:

  • it must reinvest any surplus income or gains in the club
  • it can't give any surplus income or gains, or any assets, to members or to anyone else apart from another registered CASC or a charity

Benefits to members

The sorts of benefits a club can provide are:

  • use of the sporting facilities and equipment along with suitable coaching
  • medical treatment and insurance cover
  • some reasonable costs for travelling to away matches
  • some reasonable post match refreshments
  • sale of refreshments such as food and drink

If it meets certain conditions, your club can also:

  • buy goods or services from members
  • employ and pay staff who are also members

To meet the conditions - the terms must be:

  • approved by the governing body of the club
  • on an 'arm's length' basis - this means they must be normal commercial terms that would be agreed with someone who wasn't connected with the club

HMRC wouldn't expect a CASC to pay members for playing. But they may accept that the club can make some small payments for playing if the aim is to encourage more people to take part. If you are thinking of paying players, please contact HMRC for further advice. See contact details below in 'Contacting the HMRC Charities Helpline'.

If the club is wound up

Your club's rules must say that when it's wound up, its assets must be used for 'approved sporting or charitable purposes'. Approved sporting or charitable purposes means for the purposes of:

  • the sport's governing body for use in related community sport
  • another registered CASC
  • a charity

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Club location - set up and provide facilities in an eligible area

Your club should:

  • be established in a EU Member State or relevant territory
  • provide its facilities in a single Member State or relevant territory

Find out which countries are in The European Union on the European Union website (Opens new window)

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Club Management - Fit and Proper Persons

Anyone who will be involved in the day-to-day running of your club should read the guidance on 'Fit and Proper Persons'. This guidance explains the need for CASCs to ensure that their managers are suitable to hold such posts and, in particular, that they haven't been involved in tax fraud or disqualified from being an official or trustee.

Guidance on the Fit and Proper Persons test

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How to register as a CASC

If your club would like to register as a CASC you'll need to apply to the HMRC CASC Unit using the CASC application form. Send your completed form, marked CASC Unit, with the following information to HMRC Charities:

  • your club's governing documents - such as your constitution, rules, memorandum and articles of association
  • your club's latest accounts
  • a copy of your club's prospectus - if there is one - and members' rulebook

Download the simple guide on how to complete Form CASC(A1) (PDF 1.1MB)

Detailed guide on how to complete Form CASC(A1) Community Amateur Sports Club Registration

Go to the CASC (A1) registration form

HMRC Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs contact details

What happens next?

When it gets your application, the HMRC CASC Unit will decide whether your club meets all the conditions for registration. If all the conditions are satisfied the registration date will usually be backdated to the start of the accounting period in which you made your application.

If some of the conditions haven't been met, HMRC will write to your club to tell you.

Once registered, HMRC will include your club's details in a list of all registered clubs on their website.

Read more about how to register as a CASC in the detailed guidance notes

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Deregistration as a CASC

Once your club has been registered by the HMRC CASC Unit, it will stay registered as a CASC. You can't ask for it to be deregistered. In limited circumstances HMRC Charities can deregister a club, for example where CASC rules have been broken.

Deregistration may have tax implications for your club.

Read more about de-registration in the detailed guidance notes

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Contacting the HMRC Charities Helpline

For more information you can contact the Charities Helpline. Select option 4 for CASCs.

Contact the Charities Helpline

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More useful links

Read more about what types of club will qualify as a CASC in the detailed guidance notes

Find out more about applying to be a CASC on the Cascinfo website (Opens new window)

Tax relief for Community Amateur Sports Clubs

Find out which countries are in The European Union on the European Union website (Opens new window)

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