Well, our second application to HMRC to be recognised as a charitable organisation has gone in. With luck, from next year we will be able to recoup 20% of most member's subs in the form of Gift Aid.
We did apply and were refused, back in 2020. It's a convoluted story, but HMRC said our income was over the set limit, and we'd have to register with The Charity Commission. As expected, after filling in the most mind numbing forms, the CC refused us because our income was below the legal threshold. At this point, the form filler felt like throwing their laptop through an upstairs window. Next came Covid and HMRC didn't answer emails or their charity phone line.
A couple of months ago, the PCO form filler finally heard from HMRC, that 'yes' we could apply for Gift Aid recognition again. So let's hope that we get a positive result in the next couple of months. The extra money we can get from claiming Gift Aid isn't a luxury, it's a necessity in these taxing (haha, taxing!) times.
The form filler says that the most difficult part of the HMRC form was the bit where one has to state what PCO does for The Public Good, in just 500 characters.........and shorthand such as '&' instead of 'and' was not permitted. The first prune to the initial statement involved cutting out several links to research that shows group music making is beneficial to both physical and mental health. Just 500 characters to say everything that is good about PCO. Hey ho......give it a try.
I'll report back as soon as there's news. 😬