Branches Handbook

Welcome to the Branches Handbook

Welcome to your Branches Handbook. 

Please note 

PAYMENTS TO TRUSTEES FOR LECTURING/WRITING ON TAX MATTERS 2018/2019

At Council's Meeting on 3 July 2018, it was agreed that the folllowing trustees be eligible to receive payments from the CIOT, not in their capacity as trustees, but for their services, rendered by delivering lectures or writing articles for the Institute on taxation matters, including branch or other lectures and articles for Tax Adviser, this work being a significant part of how they earn their living:

John Barnett, Emma Chamberlain, Anne Fairpo, Keith Gordon, Nichola Ross Martin, Mike Thexton.

Feel free to add items or to suggest additional content - let us know at branches [at] tax.org.uk

The statutory requirements regarding Terms of Reference, Annual General Meetings and branch accounts are mandatory, as are compliance with Charity Law and general law, which includes Data Protection, the Disability Act and the Bribery Act among others, as well as guidance on Conflicts of Interest. 

 

Terms of Reference for a Branch Committee

1. Membership

Members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) have the right to attend meetings; however, other individuals may be invited by the members of the Branch Committee.

The members of the Committee shall appoint one of their number to act as Chairman if the already appointed Chairman is unable to attend.

2. Quorum

The quorum necessary for the transaction of business shall be at least three.

3. Meetings

The Committee should aim to meet regularly to discuss the events programme and tax issues as they arise.

4. Committee role

The duties of the Branch Committee are to:

i               educate members of the CIOT and ATT in their local area

ii              discuss any tax policies or tax issues that require clarification

iii             respond on technical matters as required or requests for opinions

iv             deal with any membership enquiries

v              build up good relations on a local level with the tax authorities and other professional bodies

vi             respond to consultation on proposed tax changes and to liaise with the tax authorities when required on tax technical and policy matters

vii            provide an opportunity for members and non-members to meet other tax professionals and share technical issues

5. Reporting responsibilities

The minutes of Committee meetings shall be circulated to the members of the Committee and a copy sent to Head Office.

The Committee shall review annually its Terms of Reference, its own effectiveness, its membership and shall make any changes it considers appropriate. The Terms of Reference shall be presented at the Branch Annual General Meeting (AGM).

6. Accounts

The Committee will produce annual accounts. These will be submitted to Head Office once approved by the Branch Committee and signed. The accounts will also be presented at the AGM.

7. AGM and Committee service

Each AGM shall be used to present the branch accounts to the members and elect officers for the forthcoming year. The Committee shall decide on any membership changes if any are required.

The recommended maximum length of service of an officer shall be as follows:

Chairman - 3 years
Secretary - 3 years
Treasurer - 3 years

Should a suitable replacement for any of the above posts not be forthcoming then the officer may extend their period of office for a further year subject to the consent of the Committee.

Should more than one person stand for one of the above posts then a formal election will take place at the AGM.

Notification of the AGM will include full details of the proposed Committee and will be sent to members not less than 21 days before the AGM.

8. Authority

The Committee has its authority from the CIOT and ATT.

Charitable Aims

Both CIOT and ATT are registered charities (CIOT No 1037771, ATT No 803480). The have the same charitable aims:

  • To advance public education in and promote the study of the administration and practice of taxation and the principles of economic and political science in relation to taxation.
  • To prevent crime; and
  • To promote the sound administration of the law for the public benefit by promoting and enforcing standards of professional conduct.

Branches must ensure that their activities reflect these charitable aims by:

  • welcoming everyone to their meetings, not just members and students of CIOT and ATT
  • providing support to members and students
  • promoting initiatives with tax charities such as the 'Bridge the Gap' campaign
  • promoting good practice
  • supporting Head Office functions such as member compliance and responding to technical consultations

Annual General Meeting

Each branch must hold an Annual General Meeting every year, no later than 31 October. At the AGM, the Committee members will be elected and the financial statements and reports for the previous year will be received and approved. It is a legal requirement to give 21 days' notice of the date of the AGM.

The following templates may be useful:

Mandatory Statutory Information

All letters, e-mails, official publications, invoices and receipts sent out by branches must, by law, carry the following information:

CIOT Registered Charity Number 1037771
ATT Registered Charity Number 803480
ATT is a company limited by guarantee number 2418331
ATT VAT Registration Number 497 5390 90

Data Protection

The Institute and Association are both registered with the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act and branch records such as mailing details and attendance records are covered by the Head Office registrations.

If you need access to members' information for anything other than mailing or internal information, you must contact the Member Services Team at Head Office.

Bribery Act 2010

CIOT and ATT Policy

The CIOT and ATT do not tolerate bribery. We are committee to applying the highest standards of conduct and integrity in our business activities in the UK and overseas and adhering to the requirements of the Bribery Act 2010.

What is bribery?

A bribe is an inducement or reward offered, promised or provided in order to gain any commercial, contractural, regulatory or personal advantage.

Scope

  • This policy applies to all CIOT and ATT activities
  • For partners, joint ventures and suppliers, we will seek to promote the adoption of policies consistent with the principles and requirements set out in the Bribery Act 2010.
  • This policy covers all staff, including all levels, those permanently employed, temporary agency staff, contractors, agents, volunteers and consultants and any other persons or companies acting for or on behalf of the CIOT and ATT.

For further details on the Bribery Act, go to: http://www.justice.gov.uk/legislation/bribery

Contact

If you are unsure whether a particular act constitutes bribery or corruption, or if you have any other queries, you should contact a member of senior management at the CIOT or ATT.

Disability and the Equality Act 2010

From 1 October 2010, the Equality Act replaced most of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). However, the Disability Equality Duty in the DDA continues to apply.

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 aims to protect disabled people and prevent disability discrimination. It provides legal rights for disabled people in the areas such as:

  • Employment
  • Education
  • Access to goods, services and facilities
  • Buying and renting land or property

We have both a moral and legal obligation under the Disability Discrimination Act to ensure that we deliver our services to disabled members in a way that does not discriminate against them.

Branches should aim to do all they can to ensure their events are accessible for disabled participants. Things to bear in mind when organising events include:

  • Ensure that any material for the event, eg publicity, lecture notes are available in accessible formats such as large print
  • When notifying participants of their place on the event, ensure that you include accessibility information to the venue, such as where accessibility parking is located
  • If using speakers, ensure that their presentations are accessible (eg simple uncluttered PowerPoint slides having a hearing loop)
  • If using name badges for the event, ensure that they are in large font and are clear
  • Ensure that pathways and walkways to the venue have level access or ramps and that doorways are wide enough for wheelchair access
  • Ensure there are adequate accessible toilet facilities
  • Ensure that the venue and meeting room have appropriate lighting for those with visual impairments
  • Check whether the catering arrangements are suitable for particular dietary requirements
  • Let those running the event, as well as staff at the venue itself, know of the participants' needs.

For more information about the protection and legal rights the Equality Act provides for disabled people, go to:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/RightsAndObligations/DisabilityRights/DG_4001068

 

 

 

Conflicts of Interest

The Charity Commission defines conflict of interest as: any situation in which a trustee's (representative's) personal interests or loyalties could, or could be seen to, prevent them from making a decision only in the best interests of the charity (branch).

It is important to have a conflict of interest policy:

  • to demonstrate and document good governance in order to protect the integrity, credibility and reputation of the branch and CIOT/ATT,
  • to maintain the trust and confidence of our members, third parties (such as suppliers) and the public; and
  • as a reminder of what to do

Three step approach to managing conflicts of interest

STEP 1: Identify Conflicts of Interest

This includes:

  • keeping a register of interests
  • querying potential conflicts of interest
  • having a conflicts of interest policy

STEP 2: Prevent the conflict of interest affecting the decision making process

STEP 3: Record the conflict of interest

Identifying a conflict of interest

Conflicts of interest may arise in a number of different ways:

1. Direct financial gain or benefit to the representative, such as:

  • payment to a representative for services provided to the branch/CIOT/ATT, such as legal or accounting services
  • the award of a contract to an organsation in which a representative has an interest and from which the representative will receive a financial benefit

2. Indirect financial gain

The most common example is the branch employing the services of a spouse or partner of a representative, where their finances are co-dependent. Despite the fact that the payment is not being made directly to a representative, the representative could be seen to benefit, at least indirectly, from the appointment and the resulting payment.

3. Conflict of loyalties, such as:

  • where a friend of a representative is employed by the branch
  • where a representative's loyalty to the CIOT/ATT conflicts with their loyalty to another charity of which they or their family are a member of. Representatives who are involved in more than one organisation or charity should always remember which 'hat they are wearing' when they attend meetings.

Managing a conflict of interest

1. All representatives should declare their interests in the Register of Interests which needs to be updated annually and also when any changes occur.

2. There should be a standard agenda item for meetings so that at the beginning of every branch meeting each representative should declare any actual or potential conflicts of interest which he or she has in an agenda item.

3. If a representative is uncertain whether or not he or she is conflicted, he or she should err on the side of openness, declaring the issue and discussing it with the other representatives.

4. If a representataive is aware of an undeclared conflict of interest affecting another representative, they should notify the Chair or, if the Chair is conflicted or unavailable, one of the other representatives.

5. Where a conflict of interest exists, the representatives will need to decide how to proceed so that they make their decision in the best interest of the branch.

Recording a conflict of interest

All decisions under a conflict of interest should be recorded by the Secretary and reported in the minutes of the meeting. The report will record:

  • the nature and extent of the conflict
  • which representative(s) were affected
  • whether any conflicts of interest where declared in advance
  • an outline of the discussion
  • the actions taken to manage the conflict, such as whether anyone withdrew from the discussion.

Remember, there is nothing wrong in there being a conflict of interest, but it is important that it is declared so that it can be managed properly.

Further information can be found on the Charity Commission website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/conflicts-of-interest-a-guide-for-charity-trustees-cc29

 

 

Branch Chair

The role of the Chair is to provide leadership for the branch and oversee all local branch activities. The Chair should maintain good communication with the Branch, ensuring that all Branch Officers understand and fulfil their roles and sharing information with all members of the committee.

The Chair is responsible for chairing branch meetings and the AGM; overseeing branch activities and ensuring guests and speakers are looked after. You should also remember you are the local face of the CIOT and ATT. You are also the main point of contact between the branch and Head Office. You must ensure that your branch is represented at Head Office events if you are unable to attend.

You should also maintain good relationships with other bodies locally; this could include arranging joint meetings with e.g.: HMRC, ICAEW, ACCA, AAT, STEP, local Chamber of Commerce.

It is important that all branches have a succession plan in place so you will need to think about your successor.

Branch Secretary

The Secretary assists the Chair and carries out administrative tasks for the branch, including arranging branch meetings, committee meetings and AGMs. You should prepare the minutes of the AGM and ensure that a copy is sent to Head Office. Please refer to the Statutory Requirements section of the Branch Handbook.

Branch Treasurer

The Treasurer is responsible for:

  • maintaining accurante accounting records
  • controlling the bank account
  • setting the branch budget for the year
  • submitting quarterly VAT Returns (NB: received by Head Office Finance Team 15 days after quarter-end)
  • submitting year-end accounts to June 30 (NB: received by Head Office Finance Team by September 30)
  • ensuring year-end accounts are independently reviewed

Head Office support:

Kenny Tan ktan [at] tax.org.uk 

  • payment of expenses
  • Regonline queries and transfers of funds

Carrie-Ann Fredericks cafredericks [at] tax.org.uk

  • main contact on general branch finance queries
  • co-ordinates VAT Returns and Year-end accounts
  • Contact for HSBC bank accounts

Branch Technical Officer

The role of the Technical Officer is to act as a link between branch members and the CIOT and ATT Technical Committees.

The CIOT and ATT Technical Officers make submissions to and meet with HMRC, HM Treasury and other Government Bodies:

  • in response to consultation exercises (both public and confidential);
  • to draw attention to anomalies in the law and inadequacies in the system, particularly identified through practical experience of members;
  • to call for changes in the law;
  • commenting critically on new legislation before Parliament (particularly with draft Finance Bill Representations); and
  • improvements in the administration of the tax system.

As the CIOT is one of the UK representatives on the Confédération Fiscale Européene, the Technical Committees also have input via the CFE’s Fiscal Committee on matters relating to EU directives and European aspects of UK tax laws.

The ATT Technical Committee considers any topic which it believes is of relevance to ATT members, but its principle focus is on personal tax and owner managed business tax with a particular interest in compliance matters.

The CIOT’s remit covers all tax matters, though the taxation of specialised businesses (eg insurance and oil) is generally left to the relevant business organisations.

Given the charitable status of both the CIOT and ATT, while we try to act in the interest of members, we must adhere to the overarching public interest aim. Note that although the CIOT and ATT will call for changes in the tax law to remedy anomalies, simplify the system and ease administration, we are not campaigning bodies as such. However, the CIOT’s Low Incomes Tax Reform Group does campaign for better tax treatment of the unrepresented – its overall aim is to ‘Give a voice to the unrepresented’. Thus input from Branches to LITRG’s campaigns will always be welcome. LITRG also makes separate responses to HMRC (and other Government departments’) consultations which will have an impact on the unrepresented taxpayer, and publishes reports on areas where tax law, policy, or administration operates to the disadvantage of the unrepresented. LITRG staff members will make themselves available to speak at branches on their areas of expertise.

In order to fulfil his or her role, the Branch Technical Officer needs to be prepared to spend 5 minutes or so at periodic Branch meetings to:

  • mention current areas of public consultation (these are listed on the CIOT website at http://www.tax.org.uk/policy-technical/consultations  and at the end of Technical Newsdesk in Tax Adviser each month;
  • appeal for general issues and points of practice from members; and
  • generally raise the profile of Technical Committee at the branch and ensure that members realise that their input is sought and valued.

To assist this, the Branch Technical Officer will be copied in on the circulation of consultations by the Technical Team, and will also be included in the Technical Team Weekly Update, which provides a summary of topical issues that week.

The Branch Technical Officer should then:

  • refer any comments received back to Technical Committee (either to the relevant Technical Officer or to the Technical Administrator at technical [at] tax.org.uk or atttechnical [at] tax.org.uk); and
  • let the central Technical Team know of any branch members with particular expertise or areas of interest and a willingness to help the technical efforts.

Policy on Branch Representation

CIOT/ATT Branches such as Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man can develop and submit comments on local proposals: these should be discussed by the Branch Committee and signed off by the Chair and Secretary but copied in draft to Head Office. The objective of this prior clearance is not to control what is being said on local issues but to ensure CIOT/ATT tone/principles are maintained and to check for any wider UK issues (either for taking up in the UK or for adding to the local submission). Drafts should be sent to technical [at] tax.org.uk 

Branches representing UK regions – Scotland, South Wales, N Ireland – can develop and submit comments on local proposals but any such work must involve the Head Office Technical Team as there will normally be some UK-wide implications; in addition, Head Office would want to support, eg through conducting surveys.

Generally branches should not attempt to submit comments on issues that are being commented on by the CIOT/ATT; instead comments should be fed to the Technical Officer dealing with the issue. Exceptionally, if a local branch wants to survey local members on an issue a separate submission may be appropriate but this should be discussed with Head Office first.

If a Branch believes a subject should be pursued then that should be similarly raised with the Technical Team, rather than pursued on their own. The Technical Team would welcome their input.

Social media

Social media is changing the way we work, offering a new model to engage with customers, colleagues and the world at large. We believe this kind of interaction can help you to build stronger, more successful business relationships and increase the number of attendees to your branch events. It is also a way for you to take part in global conversations related to the work we are doing at CIOT/ATT and the things we care about.

Participating in social computing on behalf of CIOT/ATT is not a right but an opportunity, so please treat it seriously and with respect and follow the official guidelines below. If you want to participate in social networks on behalf of CIOT/ATT in a different capacity, please contact Rebecca Fuller: rfuller [at] att.org.uk

CIOT and ATT Social Media Guidelines

1. Unified Standard

Do not dilute the brands. Follow the design and naming guidelines.

If you confuse your audience, you will lose your audience. This will affect your branch and the CIOT/ATT. Both CIOT and ATT have brand guidelines which discuss logo usage and both bodies have social media responsible employees who will be able to guide you on brand usage. Please, respect the brand.

2. Disclose

Your presence in social media must be transparent.

Your honesty - or dishonesty - will be quickly noticed in the social media environment. Please represent CIOT/ATT ethically and with integrity.

  • Be transparent: Use your real name, identify that you are a CIOT/ATT branch representative, and be clear about your role.
  • Be truthful: If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out and be specific about what it is.
  • Be yourself: Stick to your area of expertise; write what you know. If you publish to a website outside CIOT/ATT, please use a disclaimer something like this: “The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent CIOT/ATT's positions, strategies, or opinions.”

3. Protect

Take extra care to protect both CIOT/ATT and yourself.

Make sure all that transparency doesn’t violate CIOT/ATT’s confidentiality or legal guidelines for commercial speech - or your own privacy. Remember, if you’re online, you’re on the record - everything on the Internet is public and searchable. And what you write is ultimately your responsibility and possibly online forever.

  • Don't tell secrets: Never reveal CIOT/ATT-classified or confidential information. If you’re unsure, check with CIOT/ATT Marketing or External Relations Teams regarding what might constitute as an off-limit topic. Also, please respect brand, trademark, copyright, fair use, and trade secrets. If it gives you pause…pause rather than publish.
  • Don't slam the competition (or CIOT/ATT) : Play nice. Anything you publish must be true and not misleading, and all claims must be substantiated and approved.
  • Don't overshare: Be careful out there - once you hit "share," you usually can’t get it back. Plus being judicious will help make your content more crisp and audience-relevant.

4. Use Common Sense

Professional, straight-forward and appropriate communication is best.

Perception is reality and in online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. Just by identifying yourself as a CIOT/ATT branch representative, you are creating perceptions about your expertise and about CIOT/ATT. Do us all proud.

  • Add value: There are millions of words out there - make yours helpful and thought-provoking. Remember, it’s a conversation, so keep it real. Build community by posting content that invites responses - then stay engaged. You can also broaden the dialogue by citing others who are writing about the same topic and allowing your content to be shared.
  • Keep it cool: There can be a fine line between healthy debate and incendiary reaction. Try to frame what you write to invite differing points of view without inflaming others. And you don’t need to respond to every criticism or barb. Be careful and considerate.
  • Did you screw up? If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction. If you're posting to a blog, you may choose to modify an earlier post—just make it clear that you have done so.

NOTE: Failure to abide by these guidelines and the Code of Conduct could put your participation at risk. Please also follow the terms and conditions for any third-party sites.

 

Sponsorship

Branches may enter into Sponsorship agreements with selected parties that can help to further the charitable and educational interests of both bodies. These agreements aim to add value to CIOT, ATT, their members and the sponsor's profile.

Sponsorship usually involves the payment of a fee for the right to be associated with an activity or branch event. Branches are encouraged to seek and engage with relevant sponsors to support their event programmes. This may be for a single event such as a conference or annual dinner or for a whole season of branch events.

Branch sponsorship can be used in two ways:

Sponsorship in kind

  • The branch requests support in lieu of payment for a benefit such as gratis room hire or refreshments for an event.

Financial sponsorship

  • The branch charges a fee for the right to be associated with an activity or event. In return a sponsor receives a set of benefits such as a banner stand or literature to raise the sponsor's brand profile, or the opportunity to engage directly with members such as making a short presentation, networking or providing a speaker.

Selecting a sponsor

There are no specific criteria and branches can determine the appropriateness of a sponsor. However, useful guidelines to consider are:

  • Relevance to the professional tax environment
  • Demographic relevance
  • Status and ability to support the sponsorship agreement

 

Organising Branch Events

We are aware that branches have a great deal of experience in running events but here are a few basic principles that we recommend.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) 

  • Attendance at branch events is a good way for members to achieve their CPD requirements.

  • Please remember that the CPD regulations changed from 1 January 2017.  Members now need to do the CPD relevant to their role and there is no longer a minimum hours requirement.

  • References to CPD in the advertising of branch events should not refer to the event providing a certain number of hours of CPD. (There could however be a footnote saying that 'If you need confirmation of attendance at an event and the number of hours for another professional body's CPD requirements please speak to Member Services’) Instead we suggest you use the following wording: "Attendance at branch events counts towards your CPD provided that it is relevant to your work."

Meet and Greet

  • Where possible, try to have a registration desk where Branch Officers can greet members as they arrive. You may also be able to identify first time attendees at your event and make them especially welcome.

Wear your name badge

  • If you require name badges, please contact Head Office at branches [at] tax.org.uk 

Branding your event

  • Please remember that all branch events should be jointly branded with both CIOT and ATT logos and refer to the branding guidelines in this section of the handbook

'Meet the President' events

  • If you wish to invite the CIOT and/or ATT President to attend an event, please use the following contact details:
    • president [at] att.org.uk
    • president [at] ciot.org.uk
  • Please include as much information about the event in your initial e-mail as possible.

Advertising your event in Tax Adviser

We are happy to include half-page advertisements for forthcoming branch events in Tax Adviser. Please follow these guidelines:

  • The deadline for Tax Adviser is the first Friday in the month for inclusion in the following month's issue.
  • Please contact Head Office: branches [at] tax.org.uk if you wish to advertise in Tax Adviser.
  • Our in-house media design team will produce your advertisement. Please include all the information you wish to be included in your advertisement by the deadline above in order to ensure that Head Office can also meet its deadlines.
  • If you wish to publish a report of an event, please send us your written report in a Word document, together with high resolution photographs as soon after the event as possible.

Branding

Remember that your local branch represents the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Association of Taxation Technicians and your branch branding must adhere to our branding rules.

  • Branches are joint branches of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Association of Taxation Technicians and must always be referred to as such.
  • All publicity in relation to your branch must be jointly branded with both CIOT and ATT logos
  • You must use your joint banner stands at all events
  • All handouts, questionnaires etc produced for meetings must carry both logos
  • If you require any assistance on branding your events, please contact Head Office: branches [at] att.org.uk 

Insurance Cover for Branch Events

The insurance cover maintained by Head Office extends to cover branches. Accordingly, there is no need for a Branch to affect liability cover for events such as normal meetings, conferences, dinners, receptions etc.

If an event is held in a venue which requires a formal written contract to be entered into by a branch, which contains provisions placing unusual liabilities upon the Institute, please contact Head Office before signing any contracts.

Download 20151201 Insurance handbook for staff and volunteers FINAL 30 09 16.pdf (325.56 KB)

 

Payments to Trustees for Lecturing at the Branches

 

PAYMENTS TO TRUSTEES FOR LECTURING/WRITING ON TAX MATTERS 2018/2019

At Council's Meeting on 3 July 2018, it was agreed that the folllowing trustees be eligible to receive payments from the CIOT, not in their capacity as trustees, but for their services, rendered by delivering lectures or writing articles for the Institute on taxation matters, including branch or other lectures and articles for Tax Adviser, this work being a significant part of how they earn their living:

John Barnett, Emma Chamberlain, Anne Fairpo, Keith Gordon, Nichola Ross Martin, Mike Thexton.

 

  • Branches Forum: October 2016

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