VSSN is now formally recognised as a charity by the Inland Revenue. It is an excepted charity recognised by the Inland Revenue, reference XR84034. The recognition is backdated to 21 May 2003 when VSSN become formally constituted. We are NOT a registered charity, but this tax status means that we can reclaim gift aid tax on donations.
On announcing this news, 4 April 2005, VSSN Treasurer and charity expert Gareth Morgan said:- “From a personal point of view this has been an interesting mini-research exercise – I knew it was theoretically possible that a charity based in England with less than £1000 income could be recognised as charity by the Inland Revenue without being registered with the Charity Commission, but I think the number of actual cases must be very small. Most cases of recognition by the Inland Revenue apply to larger excepted bodies such as churches, where charitable status is fairly self-evident, or to bodies in Scotland (pre-OSCR) and Northern Ireland. Effectively in VSSN we have a charity based in England which has gone through the Scotland/NI type of charity assessment.
I suspect before long the total income may go over £1000 p.a. (it was £933 last year), but whether we then have to become a registered charity depends on the timing of the new Charities Bill, which will increase the registration threshold to £5000.
Even so, there is the interesting issue of dual registration with OSCR which is soon coming into effect with the Scottish Charities Bill, whereby charities which operate UK-wide will potentially need to be registered in more than one domain. Much will depend on whether we decide to hold any VSSN meetings in Scotland!”