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Russell Cooke on cross-border charities' registration in Scotland

Howard Lake | 6 October 2006 | Blogs

Solicitors Russell Cooke have summarised new ./guidance on whether charities in England and Wales should register with the Office of Scottish Charities Regulator.
“The Office of Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) has produced ./guidance for charities in England and Wales on registering with the OSCR.
At present, if you occupy any land or premises in Scotland or carry out any activities in any office, shop or similar premises in Scotland, you are required to register. The ./guidance specifically suggests that an organisation that does the following in Scotland are likely to have to register:
– Owns or leases premises;
– Pays rates in Scotland;
– Claims relief for non-domestic rates from a local authority;
– Holds open meetings in Scotland;
– Charges for events held in Scotland.
We enquired as to the meaning of the broad phrase “holds open meetings”. There is no current ./guidance on this and the OSCR suggest that any charities in doubt as to whether they are required to register should contact the OSCR with further details. They were able to tell us that any charity which holds meetings in Scotland on a regular basis would almost certainly have to register whereas those who only hold “ad hoc” meetings, and not regular meetings, are unlikely to be required to register.
Another issue involves home workers. The OSCR suggest that a charity with home workers who set up offices at their homes in Scotland specifically to carry out the work of a charity should register. However, to confuse matters, if they are just using a computer that they also use for general purposes at home it is unlikely that the charity that they are working for will be required to register.
Until further operational ./guidance on this is issued, the position will remain unclear and charities with activities in Scotland should contact the OSCR for further ./guidance.
See: http://www.oscr.org.uk
For further information, contact:
James Sinclair Taylor on 020 8394 6480 or TA*****@ru***********.uk
Republished with permission.