The RYA today applauds the Chancellor's budget proposals for a tax relief

package for sports clubs.

In the 2001 budget, the Chancellor promised that the Treasury would be

looking at the best way of helping sports club reduce their tax burden

with a view to tax changes the 2002 budget. The Treasury then proposed a

possible package of reliefs which was welcomed by sport. At the same time

however the Charity Commissioners announced that clubs promoting healthy

recreation to the community would now be eligible for charitable status;

this also was a welcome concession, but likely to be of interest to a very

few clubs.

In pre-budget discussions, it was feared that the Chancellor was going

cool on the tax concession proposals and steering clubs towards

reconstituting as charities. Now, after an unprecedented 2,400 letters

from clubs (including 300 yacht clubs), over 100 Parliamentary questions,

and a 148-signature House of Commons Early Day Motion, the Chancellor has

confirmed the Treasury proposals will after all be enacted. The ability of

clubs now to go for the simple tax relief package or to undertake

conversion to charitable status is doubly welcome and will be a great

boost to all sailing club treasurers struggling to balance the books.

Welcoming yesterdays budget announcement, George Clark, Chairman of the

RYA said

'The Government acknowledges that amateur sports clubs are the

bedrock of the sport in this country, and that the clubs are also at the

heart of community life throughout the country. The new package of tax

reliefs is tremendously welcome, and I am particularly pleased that the

reliefs will take effect immediately. Great credit must go to the CCPR

for coordinating a very powerful lobby over the past few months.'

Full details of the tax relief package can be found on the HM Treasury

Website www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget

The main reliefs are as follows:

* Fundraising income up to £15,000 exempt from tax;

* Income from interest exempt from tax;

* Rental income up to £10,000 exempt from tax;

* Disposals exempt from capital gains tax;

* Gift aid on individual donations;

* Inheritance tax relief on gifts;

* Gifts of assets on no-gain, no-loss basis for

capital gains;

* Business relief on gifts of trading stock.

For further details contact Edmund Whelan at RYA Legal Department, RYA

House, Romsey Road, Eastleigh. SO50 9YA. Tel:

02380 627422.