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Transfer of Property

Currently some very small unincorporated charities can transfer all their property to one or more charities by making a resolution, which the Commission must approve. This is simpler than approaching the Commission to make a Scheme to effect the transfer. This route will be simplified even further and will become available to charities with an annual income below £10,000, although certain safeguards will remain.

Property may also be transferred to more than one other charity. The trustees must consider that such a transfer is necessary to advance the purposes for which they hold the property. Also, in the case of unrestricted property, the recipients must have at least one purpose that is substantially similar to those of the charity making the transfer

Obtaining the Commission’s consent to a transfer: If the Commission does not object to the transfer within 60 days of receiving the charity’s resolution, it is deemed to have consented. However, the 60-day period can be extended if the Commission requires public notice of the resolution or further information.

If the charity holds permanent endowment: ‘Permanent endowment’ means property (such as land, buildings, investments, cash or other property) that trustees may not spend as if it were income, or sell to raise cash. There are special rules about these provisions for charities holding permanent endowment. Unlike the regime for unrestricted property, capital may only be transferred to recipients who meet at least one of the following criteria:

(i) Where the transfer is to two or more charities, then:

  • taken as a group, they have purposes that are substantially similar to all of the purposes of the charity making the transfer; and
  • taken individually, each has purposes that are substantially similar to one or more of the purposes of the charity making the transfer.

(ii) Where the transfer is to a single charity, then the recipient must have purposes that are substantially similar to all of the purposes of the charity making the transfer.

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