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Re: [Fsfe-uk] What the treasurer did... (early Feb 2003)

From: Martin Keegan
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] What the treasurer did... (early Feb 2003)
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2003 14:14:21 +0000 (GMT)

Some time last month, MJ Ray wrote:

> then illness.  I did manage to get an answer about charitable status,
> and it is as suspected: AFFS cannot become a charity as it currently
> stands because it has specific political and legislative-based aims. 
> This has pluses and minuses.  Interested parties can start reading
> through http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/ (warning: now has display problems)
> and http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/ to see if we missed any
> obvious way. 

I was reading through the AFFS constitution last night having finally got
round to filling in the membership application form, and found it
self-contradictory: there were both political aims and provisions about
being a charity, which suggested to me that either the drafters didn't
know anything about charitable purposes law or it had suffered some of
incomplete amendment. Turning to the mailing list archives, I found this
post, which suggested to me that the former is probably the case, which is
not to be held against the presambly well-intentioned drafters. 

There has since been discussion about how to register AFFS as a charity by
modifying its aims, or splitting it into two entities.

Despite being a strong believer in getting institutional frameworks right,
I think that on balance registering as a charity is more trouble than it's
worth: you get tax benefits and limited liability for officers. At present
the organisation is too small to receive significant tax benefits, but the
liability issue can be solved, if that's thought desirable, by registering
as a company limited by guarantee instead of as a charity; this costs
money and time, and probably isn't worth it yet, but is a viable option
for the future, unlike the charity idea.


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