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Accountants For Charities

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Charitable organisations, not-for-profit organisations and community interest companies are under increasing pressure nowadays regarding legislation and regulation. Constant changes are being made to the guidelines and rules, which means regardless of what type of not-for-profit organisation you run, you need the help of specialist charity accountants to remain compliant.

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There was a time when running a community interest organisation or charity meant you were solely concerned with getting funding and caring for your beneficiaries. Now, however, you need to factor in showing accountability and responsibility too.

Therefore, it is so crucial that you use charity accounting services offered by chartered accountants like Tax Bite.

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How Can We Help You?

When looking for the right accounting organisation for your not-for-profit or charity, you should consider Tax Bite. To determine whether we are right for you or not, you need to look at the full range of accounting services we provide. This includes:

  • Advice and support related to accounting software
  • Preparation of annual accounts (in line with the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice and Charities Act
  • Annual external audit work
  • Internal audit services
  • Independent examination
  • Trading subsidiaries and tax advice
  • Specialist grant return certification audits
  • VAT and NIC/PAYE health checks
  • Gift aid advice
  • Payroll and management accounts
  • Charity formation advice and choosing the best charity structure
  • Governance process reviews
  • Trustees and board training
  • Bookkeeping

Accounting Services for Charities

As accountants for charities, there are several crucial ways we can help not-for-profit organisations and charitable organisations. There is a lot of confusion between what constitutes accounting and what is more specific, like bookkeeping. To differentiate, we would describe our accounting services as the full range of services that encompass different disciplines and areas of your finances, such as bookkeeping, payroll, and tax (as well as helping you see the type of business expenses you can claim.)

Bookkeeping for Charities

Bookkeeping for charitable organisations and not for profits is incredibly vital from a compliance point of view. As there continue to be reductions for government funding and of increased competition there exists among charities for just a share of the available donations, you need to think carefully about compliance and sustainability.

At Tax Bite, we have a fully committed and qualified team of chartered accountants who have experience working with many, not for profits. We deeply understand the opportunities and challenges your organisation is facing and will always make sure you meet the regulatory requirements while recommending changes to your operations that can help you remain efficient and effective.

As part of current legislation, charities like yours are expected to conduct external audits or independent examinations of your accounts. As part of our bookkeeping services, we can ensure you meet the audit requirements and that your books are accurately kept up to date in line with the rules highlighted in the Charities Act and the Statement of Recommended Practice.

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Payroll for Charities

Payroll is another area of your accounting requirements as a not-for-profit organisation that you will need the help of a professional team to oversee. Whereas for some traditional organisations and companies, payroll can be a simple and standard process, it is often anything but for charities. For traditional companies, you will generally have a stable team of employees that is unlikely to change from one month to the next.

Like many other charitable organisations and not for profits, you will likely have a large pool of temporary staff that you can use for short periods at seasonal times. Even still, it may be that you only have a small team of staff that get a payslip from one month to the other, if it’s even that regular.

Some staff in charities are employed voluntarily and receive expenses that cover them for travelling etc.

Perhaps you have staff that are on short-term contracts or that work on commission-only contracts.

Within charities, there is usually a higher turnover of employees and staff compared to conventional businesses. This creates a lot of admin work when outgoing staff members need to be removed from payroll while new incoming staff members need to be added.

There are also the complexities involved with different projects where the expenses and wages need to be assigned to them to ensure they are tracked closely. As if that wasn’t enough, there is also the fact that you may provide payments to non-UK workers, creating various taxation problems.

Whatever the structure of your charity, we are sure you can see why it is important to hire a professional to help with the accounting and payroll side of your charity or not-for-profit.

Tax Return for Charities

Tax and VAT, corporation tax, tax liabilities and tax incentives are other areas of charity accounting that can be extremely complicated. Without the help of specialist charity accountants like our team here at Tax Bite, you could easily make costly mistakes. We have the specialist knowledge and understanding, though, to help you with your VAT responsibilities, whether they are related to fundraising ventures, property, or you are a partial exemption. With the skills and knowledge we have gained while working for over a decade in the charity and not for profits sector, we know how best to help you structure your organisation and activities so that you are tax efficient. We can help introduce procedures and systems into your organisation for high-quality tax planning and VAT management and can even run a VAT health check on your organisation.

With our advice and support, you will understand your obligations correctly and will be able to avoid expensive mistakes that can lead to investigations and sanctions by HMRC.

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What Expenses Can Charities Claim?

In the UK, all businesses can claim back certain expenses and benefit from tax relief. These types of organisations can also claim back expenses when it comes to charities and not-for-profits. Whether you have a lot of experience or not working with charities in the UK, even if you understand a little of the principles, it is still in your best interest to seek out the help of qualified accountants to make sure you claim all the expenses you can and benefit from the various tax reliefs.

Many conclude that Gift Aid is the only tax break you can benefit from as a charity. When you consider that charities collectively fail to collect around £600m in Gift Aid, and that is just one of the various tax and VAT deductions, exemptions and reliefs available, there is a lot you could gain from working with Tax Bite.

To better understand what you can claim as a charity, we have listed the most important below.

Gift Aid

You can claim Gift Aid for any donations made to your charity from UK taxpayers, whether the donations come from memberships, volunteer expenses, text, retail or bucket/tin collections.

VAT Exemptions

As a charity or not-for-profit organisation, you can claim VAT relief in various areas such as advertising and marketing, construction, disability aids, chemicals, drugs, talking books, medicinal products, rescue equipment, medical and scientific equipment, resuscitation models and, where applicable, lifeboats.

You can also qualify for fuel and power exemptions, which include the Climate Change Levy. This refund scheme involves galleries and museums offering free admission and allows charities to import certain goods free of VAT and duty.

Non-Profit Business Rate Relief

You may know that a standard 80% relief is available for charities. Did you know, however, that another 20% discretionary relief for charitable organisations and 100% discretionary relief available for non-charitable, not for profits?

You should also note that reliefs are available for retail, empty or exempt (for religious use or disabled individuals) buildings, small businesses, rural, hardship and enterprise.

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Whether you own or run a charitable or not-for-profit organisation, there is a lot you need to be aware of when it comes to accounting. A lot more than you may have considered. Even if you want to reduce outgoings by trying to oversee the smaller and larger tasks involved in charity accounting, we recommend you against it.

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From the above information, you can see just how complicated it can be. Even for trained experts like the team here at Tax Bite, charity accounting can be among the trickiest to work on. For us, as accounting specialists that want to help our clients as best we can, it is also extremely rewarding.

Rather than trying to ensure your charity books are in order, that your tax returns are filled out properly and that you are not spending more than necessary, why not give the responsibility to a team that knows what they are doing? With more than ten years’ experience working with charities and not for profits, we are suitably positioned to help your organisation. Unlike many accountancy firms, we will not just fob you off on any trained individual. Rather, we will assign you your charity accountant from the start of our working relationship. That way, whenever you contact us, no matter how big or small the issue, question or query, it will always be the same accountant that you deal with.

To find out more about the help we can provide your charity with its accounting, please contact Tax Bite today. You can do that by giving us a call, sending an email or using the online contact form on the Contact Us page.