Reporting changes and water charges for Scottish charities

A couple of items for Scottish charities.

Water Exemption Scheme

The Scottish Government’s Water Exemption Scheme helped over 7,400 charities and sports clubs with reduced charges in 2015-16. However, charity regulator OSCR is sure there are more charities that can benefit, and also reminds that charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs must reapply each year to the Scheme to retain exemption. Applications have to be in by 31st March.

The Scheme exempts, subject to certain conditions, charities with an annual income of less than £200,000 from water and sewerage charges, and those with an income between £200,000 and £300,000 pay a reduced rate.

See OSCR article or the official exemption scheme web page. Scotland on Tap website provides info on licensed providers.

Targeted regulation

Scottish charity regulator OSCR’s new Targeted Regulation approach comes into play from 1st April, as reported by Third Force News.

A new ‘notifiable events’ procedure will require charities to alert the regulator on matters such as fraud, allegations of abuse, investigation by other agencies such as HM Revenue and Customs or the police, or substantial donations from an unknown source where these occur, and to sign a declaration where they have not.

Changes will also be made to the annual return form, which should mean less work for smaller Scottish charities but larger ones may have to provide additional information. OSCR is encouraging the 20% of Scotland’s registered charities not using its online reporting service to sign up, to make the changes easier to manage.

OSCR will publish new guidance and support material, as well as working with local support organisations to help charities understand and adopt the changes.

There is a little more information on OSCR’s news item ‘Scottish charities urged to get online‘.

The last VoluntaryNews item on these changes appears to be back in March 2015 – ‘Reporting changes for Scottish charities to go ahead‘.