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Analysis

Back to the future

1 Oct 2014 | Stephen Lloyd

The sector lost a great advocate and friend when Stephen Lloyd was tragically killed in a holiday boating  accident in August. In this last article he was to write, he argues for a return to the Charity Commission’s pre-2006 constitutional structure. 

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Sense of trust

Hannah Armit comments on proposed changes to how trusts treat income and capital. In July 2004, the Law Commission published its consultation paper Capital and Income in Trusts: Classification and Apportionment. the project was suspended until January 2008, but work has now recommenced. the main purpose of the consultation was to examine the rules on the treatment of investment returns by trustees with a view to introducing more flexibility in this area. A major theme is whether and how trustees might adopt a total return approach to investment.

Nil points

Is the nil rate band change bad news for charities? Charlotte Watts When an individual dies, the starting point is that everyone’s estate is liable to inheritance tax at 40 per cent. This is important to charities as gifts to them are exempt from inheritance tax. If someone does not wish to pay inheritance tax on their estate, one way of avoiding it is to leave legacies to charities.

A new structure

Desiree Parker reports on the shifting landscape for structured products. According to website StructuredRetailProducts.com, the size of the UK market was £6.7bn last year, a rise of 23 per cent within four years. There is an increasing level of interest from charities, evidencing the growing appreciation of structured products as an effective tool in portfolio construction and the significant increase in the breadth and mix of products being used.

Keeping the faith

Shivaji Shiva looks at governance issues in faith organisations. The first case to be heard by the Charity Tribunal was initiated earlier this year by a former trustee of Sivayogam, a Hindu charity that runs temples in Tooting and Wembley.

The widely held view that charities should stick to doing good works and stay clear of campaigning is a recipe for social stagnation. The world has changed, charities need to change with it and speak truth to power about what it takes to solve root causes of societal ills rather than pussyfoot around problems.

» Liberal influence: Andrew Hind interviews Lord Rennard

Morally speaking

Sylvie Nunn and Godfrey Smallman review the Charity Commission’s draft guidance on public benefit and moral or ethical belief systems. The Charity Commission's new draft guidance for consultation on Public Benefit and the Advancement of Moral or Ethical Belief Systems is the fifth consultation on public benefit since January, following the publication of the Commission’s general guidance on public benefit. It fulfils the Commission’s undertaking to Parliament to give non-religious belief systems equal treatment to religious belief systems with regard to the public benefit provisions in the Charities Act and, not surprisingly, there are many parallels between the two sets of guidance.

Seeking good form

Chris Priestley provides an update on a new legal form for charities.

OSCR nominations

Simon Mackintosh summarises developments in Scotland.

Serious worries

Ros Harwood analyses the Charity Commission’s new guidance on serious incident reporting. The charity commission has recently revised its guidance on when trustees must report serious incidents. Good practice has always been that trustees should inform the Commission if any serious incident has arisen that could significantly harm their charity’s property, work, beneficiaries or reputation, but now legal requirements cement that.

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