July 2019

Monthly Archives

HMRC’s Criminal Offences For Failing to Prevent Tax Facilitation – What They Are and What to Do

HMRC is reminding companies and partnerships (including charities) that they can be criminally liable if they fail to prevent their staff or those that represent them from facilitating illegal tax evasion.

The offence, which came into force in September 2017, does not substantially alter what is illegal tax evasion, but focuses on who is held accountable for enabling or allowing it.

Rather than try and attribute illegal tax evasion to an organisation, it focuses on the failure of that organisation to prevent those who work for, act for or on behalf of from committing criminal tax evasion.

HMRC has published information about this, including what organisations can do to build their internal procedures in light of the offences. The ‘corporate criminal offences’ can also be found in Part 3 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

HMRC has also launched a new dedicated self-reporting route for organisations that have failed to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. Find out how to self-report, and why it may be in an organisation’s interest on the Tell HMRC your organisation failed to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion webpage on GOV.UK.

If you have any queries about preventing tax facilitation please contact HMRC.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter issue 63


Charities Working Internationally: How to Assess Risk

Charities working internationally can face certain risks because of their operating environment including the application of financial sanctions, greater levels of corruption or criminal activity, the presence of terrorists, proscribed groups or designated entities.

The Charity Commission, as a risk-led regulator, we focus on areas of higher risk and we expect the same of trustees. The Charity Commissions International Charities Engagement Team recently published a blog to help you assess risk more effectively. It also includes links to risk management tools, which can help you protect your charity from harm.

How to assess risk for charities working internationally.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter issue 63


Extended Date for Changes to Public Display Names on the Charity Register

As part of changes to the Charity Commission’s online services, if current trustees have used a public display name on the charity register their full legal name will be displayed to the public, unless they apply to have it removed. This is known as a dispensation.

These changes were due to happen this year (2019) but we have extended this to give trustees more time to apply for a dispensation if needed. The changes will now happen from 1 April 2020.

We can grant a dispensation if displaying a legal name to the public could put the relevant person or people in personal danger. Dispensations will not be granted automatically.

Find out about display name changes and how to apply for a dispensation.

If trustees have already been granted a dispensation for their legal name not to be displayed to the public on the register, this will be retained. There is no need to apply for a dispensation again.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter issue 63


Cyber crime and reporting to the Charity Commission

The Charity Commission recently issued an alert to the charity sector about cyber crime and how to report it to them.

Cyber crime has a number of definitions but will usually involve attacks on, or through, computer systems and networks. It often includes theft of data or disruption of systems to enable further crime.

Dependant on the nature of these crimes, trustees, staff, volunteers and beneficiaries of charities may be adversely affected. Negative publicity could also impact on public trust and confidence in not only the charity affected, but the sector as a whole.

The alert explains more about this growing threat, and also includes links to useful guidance and tools to help you protect your charity.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter issue 63


Charity Whistleblowers: How and Why The Charity Commission Values Them

Trustees have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for all staff and other charity workers. Protecting people and safeguarding responsibilities should be a governance priority for all charities.

An effective culture of keeping people safe identifies, deters and tackles behaviours which minimise or ignore harm to people and cover up or downplay failures. Failures to protect people from harm should be identified, reported to regulators and wider lessons learned.

When concerns are raised within your charity it is vital they are listened to and acted upon before they can cause harm.

Raising concerns takes courage, and those who do so deserve to be taken seriously and treated with respect and sensitivity. This is why we are making it easier for charity workers and volunteers to draw serious concerns about their charity to our attention.

We have been significantly upgrading our support for potential whistleblowers in recent months. We have:

  • streamlined the process and re-written our guidance so it is easier to follow
  • opened an advice line, operated by the whistleblowing charity Protect
  • started to test a new service where we will contact each whistleblower directly to discuss their concerns

Read more in the blog from our Chief Executive Officer, Helen Stephenson CBE, charity whistleblowers: how and why we value them.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter issue 63


New Guidance for Charities with a Connection to a Non-Charity

If your charity has a close relationship with a non-charitable organisation – such as its founder, trading subsidiary, or a regular partner – you must manage the connection in your charity’s best interests and protect its independence. You need to plan for the risks as well as the benefits that the connection can bring.

The Charity Commission’s new guidance for charities with a connection to a non-charity will help you to do this. It draws together relevant law and practice, setting out 6 principles to help trustees run and review these connections.

It follows concerns that some relationships between charities and non-charities have damaged public confidence in charity. It will also help us, as the regulator, to better hold charities to account against existing rules.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter issue 63


Heart of England Receives Anonymous Donation!

The Foundation were stunned by the further generosity of an anonymous donor after they received a gift of £1,584.094.

The donor has been so impressed with how their original donation of £4 million has been used they decided to gift them with an unrestricted donation!

The total amount, of over £7 million, makes it by far the largest donation in the charity’s 24-year history.

Tina Costello, Foundation CEO, explained that the new donation is unrestricted which means the foundation will have control over where this funding will be distributed, rather than being led by its donors.

She said:
“When I was told the amount of money we’d be receiving, I had to pull my car over – I was just overwhelmed.

“This incredible amount of money will allow us to develop our own grant-giving programmes for the first time.  The majority of our grant programmes are donor led which is great, because it means our donors have a strong say and personal involvement in who benefits from their money.

“However, this wonderfully generous anonymous donor has given us the freedom to develop and implement our own grant programmes, based on evidence of need across our region.

“The anonymous donor has been instrumental in changing the landscape and direction of the charity and has enabled us to grow and develop in the way we support our communities”.

“This money is allowing us to move in a new direction and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

The original £4 million anonymous donation has been used to set up the ‘Building Better Lives’ initiative.

The scheme will be used to support up to three projects across the West Midlands Region that have a successful track record and expertise in delivering capital projects and support for vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

Tina added:
“I have to say a massive thank you to the donor for continuing to support us – it shows an incredible amount of faith in what we do and I couldn’t be prouder.

“The Building Better Lives initiative was made possible thanks to their money, and we hope to distribute the money to projects in the next few months.

“But I still couldn’t believe how large their recent donation was. We can’t wait to use the money to transform people’s lives.”

Source: Heart Of England Community Foundation


Summer Holiday Fun with Splash Pad at Dartmouth Park

The splash pad in Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich, has opened for children to enjoy over the school summer holidays.

The area features brightly coloured flooring containing sprinklers, waterwheels, fountains and water channels.
The splash pad is aimed at four to 14-year-olds and is free to use.

It’s open from around 10am to 6pm every day for the rest of the summer holidays.

The splash pad reopened today (Friday 26 July) following some essential maintenance and minor repairs.

The splash pad was jointly funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Sandwell Council.


Brushstrokes are Moving

Brushstrokes Community Project has outgrown its current premises at St Philip’s Parish Centre and is relocating to 253 High Street, Smethwick, B66 3NJ, opposite the Red Cow Public House.

Brushstrokes will be closed to the public for all services (with the exception of off-site advice sessions) from Monday 19th August – Friday 30th August.

The new centre will re-open from Monday, 2nd September 2019.

Buses to Brushstrokes from:

Birmingham City Centre – 80, 80A, 87
Dudley – 87
Oldbury – 87
West Bromwich – 80, 80A

The telephone number remains the same – 0121 565 2234.  E-mail: info@brushstrokessandwell.org.uk


Space Available at Wednesbury Library

Quality space for flexible use is available at Wednesbury library, Hollies Drive, Wednesbury WS10 9EH. There are a number of spaces available of different sizes. All are situated on the first floor with a lift offering full wheelchair access. The library is located in the centre of Wednesbury, conveniently situated next to local shops and amenities.

It has good public transport links and road networks
The rooms offer privacy whilst at the same time allowing you to meet and greet clients in the informal and relaxed atmosphere of Wednesbury library.
Rooms key features
• Wifi
• Wall mounted plug sockets
• Light furnished areas
• Access shared with Library
• Adjacent shared kitchen with fridge and microwave
• Accessible toilet

Prices range from £4000 per annum to £16,500 per annum (depending on size).

Sandwell Library and Information Service welcomes offers from all, but is particularly keen to share space and work in partnership with organisations that can contribute to our core offers of reading, health, information, digital, learning or culture, or supports other Sandwell Council objectives. Occupancy would be offered on a licence to occupy basis for up to 3 years.For viewing please contact:-

Samantha Goode – 0121 569 4945
Email samantha_goode@sandwell.gov.uk

For more information (including library opening hours) follow the link below

http://www.sandwell.gov.uk/info/200261/libraries_in_sandwell/829/wednesbury_library
Applications must be made on a formal application form available from the library or by contacting Dawn Winter on 0121 569 4922


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