The CASC scheme was introduced in 2002 to give amateur sports clubs that make apositive contribution to their local communities some of the tax benefits available to charities. The principal tax reliefs available to CASCs are business rates relief, relief from Corporation Tax on certain types of income and gains and Gift Aid relief on donations of money by individuals.
The scheme is aimed at locally-based amateur sports clubs that often struggle to survive but make a valuable contribution at grassroots level to their local community. For example, a village bowls club or a local amateur youth football team.
At the time the CASC scheme was announced, in 2001, sports clubs were not considered to be eligible for charitable status. The Charity Commission for England and Wales decided shortly afterwards that amateur sports clubs may be eligible for charitable status. As a result sports clubs can choose between charitable and CASC status, subject to meeting the eligibility conditions.
Since 2002 over 6,000 clubs have registered with HMRC for the CASC scheme. Between them they have claimed over £12 million in Gift Aid and it is estimated around £100 million has been saved by clubs in respect of business rates.