Charities need to make the best of their finances, but in an increasingly complex minefield of tax and accounting legislation, it’s easy to go wrong. To ensure that your charity’s finances are in the best possible shape, you need expert help.
Fawcetts are the experienced professionals. We have undertaken work in your sector to achieve great results for charities, helping them make the most of their income while planning for expansion or development. We offer a complete financial services package or we can undertake individual projects depending on your needs.
Financial management is no simpler because you are a charitable organisation. In fact, this can lead to even more rules and regulations that need to be taken care of. Volunteers and paid employees at any charity will already have a full-time job without having to learn and handle technical financial matters.
Employing the service of the experts is the most cost-effective solution. This can save you time: for example, just assessing an item of income could involve consideration of the following:
- The objects of the charity
- The value of the item concerned
- When it is to be received
- Who it is to be received from
- Why it is being received
- The VAT consequences of its receipt
- The corporation tax consequences of its receipt
- The requirements of Accounting Standards
- The requirements of the Charities SORP
- Accounts disclosure issues.
This is just one example of the complexity facing professional charity finance managers.
Fawcetts can advise on how to implement and establish systems to categorise and process routine transactions. Our team also has vast expertise in the issues affecting financial management and reporting in the sector.
We couple this with an excellent working relationship and tailor our service to your individual needs. We maintain regular contact with our clients, not just during the audit, but throughout the year, and we build this into our overall approach to servicing a client.
We believe that investing the time to do this pays dividends at many levels over the longer-term. At the simplest level, a thorough understanding of our client’s situation allows us to target our audit work more effectively. This means we spend less time in arriving at our audit opinion – keeping annual compliance costs at an effective minimum. Where more complex issues arise, our charities team has the detailed knowledge of their clients’ circumstances to allow them to take all relevant factors into account.
This means advice is delivered more quickly and is tailored to the charity’s particular situation. It also allows us to suggest solutions that would not arise from an off-the-shelf reiteration of the relevant rules and regulations.
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A response to a freedom of information request has revealed that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) cancelled 270,000 late penalty notices in 2016.
However, this figure was dwarfed by the 610,000 cancellations in 2015 and the 400,000 cancellations in 2014.
The request was made by a partner in a ‘magic circle’ law firm, who was himself issued with a late penalty notice, despite having submitted his tax return in December, ahead of the 31 January deadline.
Despite having filed on time, when HMRC overturned the penalty in March this year, it nevertheless issued a letter, stating “if you file on time we won’t charge penalties”.
While HMRC revealed the number of late penalty notices that were cancelled over the three-year period, it did not disclose how many of these were the consequence of errors on the part of the Revenue, as opposed to the taxpayer having a reasonable excuse for late filing.
A spokesperson for HMRC said: “We don’t want penalties, we just want tax returns. Taxpayers with a reasonable excuse for filing late or who have been taken out of SA do not have to pay penalties. Taxpayers who file on time are not issued with penalties.”