Charities Act 2006 - New provisions for spring 2008
Provisions implemented from 18 March 2008
The Charity Tribunal
The Charity Tribunal has been set up to challenge legal decisions made by the Charity Commission. Prior to the Act this could only be done through the high court. This route is designed to be low cost and informal.
Payments to Trustees
Previously any payments to Trustees had to be approved by the Charity Commission. It is now possible to pay Trustees for some goods and services they supply the charity as long as certain safeguards are met.
It is now possible to advice donors that should an appeal fail their donation will be used for a similar charitable purpose unless the donor has signed a declaration that they wish the donation to be returned.
Only the donors who have signed this declaration will need to be contacted to advise that the appeal has failed, thus reducing some administrative burden on the charity.
Provisions implemented from 1 April 2008
As of 1 April 2008 the definition of ‘charity’ has become law. The definition covers the public benefit requirement and lists purposes which can be charitable. The Charity Commission has provided guidance on the public benefit requirement on their website.
Charities will now need to confirm they have followed the guidance in the Annual Report.
New provisions have come into force for non-incorporated and incorporated charities that cover:
- group accounts
- whistle blowing
- harmonisation of audit and independent examination thresholds
Date: 19th May, 2008
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