Press Release

EMBARGOED TO 00:01 on 27 August 2008

                                                    

Lynne Jones MP for Selly Oak calls on local Mosques and community organisations to make the most of this Ramadan by registering a charity

Ramadan is a time when many community organisations and Mosques benefit from the generosity of Muslim people. Many organisations don’t realise that by registering with the Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, the money they are given could go even further, helping them to make an even greater impact on their communities.

This Ramadan Lynne Jones, MP for Selly Oak is encouraging organisations that think they might have charitable status to contact the Charity Commission on 0845 300 0218 to find out how they can register.

There are many benefits of registering as a charity. Charities registered with the Charity Commission:

         Have the benefit of a charity registration number and the badge/brand of charity, increasing public trust and confidence in their organisation.

         Can maximise the financial benefit of donations through Gift Aid arrangements. This means that currently for every 1.00 donated through Gift Aid charities can claim back up to 28p from the government.

         Benefit from generous tax breaks – they do not normally have to pay income/corporation tax, capital gains tax, or stamp duty, and gifts to charities are free of inheritance tax.

         Have access to free expert advice and tailored guidance from the Charity Commission.

Registering as a charity is not a complicated process, visit the Commission’s website: www.charitycommission.gsi.gov.uk or call 0845 300 0218 for further information.

Lynne Jones, MP for Selly Oak said:

“Selly Oak is home to 3 registered Muslim charities and I’m sure there are many more unregistered organisations, all of which make a huge contribution to our community. This Ramadan I’d encourage anyone who has not yet registered their group as a charity, to visit the Charity Commission’s website and find out how becoming a registered charity could help you maximise the impact your organisation makes with the funds it raises during Ramadan.”

 

Ends.

 

Notes to editors:

 

1.        The Charity Commission is the independent regulator for charitable activity in

      England and Wales. See www.charitycommission.gov.uk for more information.

 

2.        Commission spokespeople are available for interview and comment. Contact the Commission’s press office on 020 7674 2333 for further information.

 

3.        For information on how to register your organisation as a charity, visit the Charity Commission’s website: www.charitycommission.gov.uk. Summaries of advice on registering as a charity are available in English, Urdu, and Arabic.

 

4.        If you are a UK charity you can claim back basic rate tax relating to Gift Aid donations from individuals, from HMRC Charities.  In practice this means that for every 1.00 donated through Gift Aid you can claim back 25p. In addition HMRC will automatically pay you a further 3p for every 1 Gift Aid donation made to you between 6 April 2008 and 5 April 2011; this transitional relief has been provided by Government to allow charities to adjust to the fall in basic rate tax (from 22 per cent to 20 per cent) from 6 April 2008. This means that for every pound donated under the Gift Aid scheme the charity will continue to receive 28p. For more information about the Gift Aid Scheme, visit the HM Revenue and Customs website: www.hmrc.gov.uk

 

5.        There are an estimated 1,398 Muslim charities on the Charity Commission’s Register of Charities. These have a combined income of 221 million.  Our research so far, which is based on information charities have given us, has identified that at least 29,495 charities are either expressly set up to advance religion or have a faith-based approach to their work. The combined income of these charities is 8.2bn. [1]

 

6.        In 2007, the Charity Commission set up The Faith and Social Cohesion Unit. This is a dedicated team within the Commission which:

         works to improve the Commission’s and society’s understanding of faith-based charities;

         engages with faith communities to identify and support organisations that could be but are not currently registered with the Commission; 

         assists faith-based charities to improve their standards of governance and accountability and thereby increase their effectiveness; and

         works collaboratively to achieve and promote well run and effectively regulated faith-based charities.

            The team are initially working with Mosques and other Muslim charities. A Project Board including representatives of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Body (MINAB) has been established to direct and evaluate the team’s work and to provide specialist advice. For more information about the Faith and Social Cohesion Unit, please see the Commission’s website.

 

                                               



[1] These statistics are based on information taken from the Central Register of Charities in England and Wales between February and July 2008.

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