All Trustees, Members, Staff, and Volunteers are entitled to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses which they legitimately incur while promoting and supporting the delivery of the objects of UK Chinese Women Connect Association (UKCWC).
This policy applies to all persons involved with UKCWC, though employees, if applicable, are also subject to taxation law in relation to such payments.
This policy are based on the Charity Commission’s guidance on reimbursing out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Trustees as in its publication “Trustee Expenses and Payments” (CC11) www.gov.uk/government/publications/trustee-expenses-and-payments-cc11/trustee-expenses-and-payments.
Some sections of this policy have been taken verbatim from that publication (Crown copyright acknowledged.)
Expenses vs Remuneration
In all cases, it is important to ensure that the reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses is not – OR DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE – a disguise for making income payments (remuneration) to the recipient(s).
Expenses vs Purchases
Note that although claims for the reimbursement of purchases which have been personally and properly made on behalf of UKCWC are usually made together with claims for the reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, they are not counted as expenses.
Instead they are accounted for as part of the charity’s general expenditure in the usual way.
Changes to the Policy
UKCWC reserves the right to change its expenses policy and procedures to maintain consistency with current accepted best practice, and otherwise to meet the needs of the charity.
Whenever possible UKCWC will give appropriate advance notice of any such changes. However, UKCWC reserves the right to change these expenses policy and procedures with minimal or no notice when reasonably expedient to do so.
Employees and volunteers are entitled to be reimbursed by UKCWC for all travelling and other expenses actually, necessarily, reasonably and incidentally incurred by them in carrying out their duties, on submission of an appropriately authorised claim form and relevant supporting point-of-sale receipts. However, taxation law does NOT permit paid employees to claim travel expenses from their home to their normal place of work.
“Actually” means that the claimant actually incurred the claimed expenditure, e.g. the bus fare for a journey cannot be claimed if the claimant had decided to leave earlier and walk the journey instead;
“Necessary” means that the charitable activity could not have been undertaken efficiently and effectively without incurring the expenditure;
“Reasonable” means that the cost of the expense must be commensurate with prudent, value-for-money use of UKCWC’s funds to promote and deliver its charitable purposes. Thus, the cost incurred must be competitive with (i.e. similar to) the costs of alternatives of similar quality and suitability-for-purpose.
However, this does NOT mean that the cheapest goods/services must always be purchased. Where the additional benefits TO THE CHARITABLE ACTIVITY BEING PROMOTED/DELIVERED demonstrably outweigh the additional cost of more expensive goods/service they can be chosen in preference to the cheaper alternatives. However, the claimant must always be ready and able to give a credible justification for their choice if challenged.
“Incidental” means that the expense(s) must not have been determined by considerations unrelated to the charity activity being promoted/delivered. For example, the claimant had attended a meeting the venue for which had been chosen specifically because it also enabled the claimant to visit a nearby friend. In such a scenario, even though the costs of attending the meeting in that venue would otherwise have been necessary and reasonable, they would not also have been incidental and, therefore would not be eligible for reimbursement.
Expenses may only be incurred, and subsequently reimbursed by UKCWC, in respect of activities which are part of the charity’s agreed and budgeted programme of charitable activities (i.e. by PRIOR agreement with the relevant budget-holder).
Likewise, goods and/or services may only be purchased on behalf of the charity, and subsequently reimbursed, in respect of activities which are part of the Charity’s agreed and budgeted programme of charitable activities (i.e. by PRIOR agreement with the relevant budget-holder).
Gifts in Kind (Waived or Unclaimed Expenses/Purchases)
Some Trustees, Members, Staff, and Volunteers occasionally choose to waive, or not to claim, a reimbursement of expenses and/or purchases to which they would otherwise be entitled.
UKCWC greatly appreciates the generosity of all who choose to act in this way. However not claiming reimbursement of legitimate expenses/purchases is not necessarily in the best interests of the charity:
- It causes the real costs of the Charity’s activities (i.e. including those costs which are subsidised by supporters) to be under-recorded and, therefore, under-reported (e.g. in the charity’s Annual Report and Financial Statements);
- It can undermine effective budgeting if a volunteer who has hitherto not claimed their expenses is unable to continue to do so, or is replaced by someone else who is unwilling to do so;
- It hides the true generosity of the charity’s supporters, particularly their financial generosity which goes unrecorded and, therefore, unreported;
- It means that the effective gift of their expenses is not eligible for supplementation by Gift Aid;
- Under-reporting the charity’s costs and the generosity of its supporters can hamper the making of effective appeals and applications for further funds for the charity.
Accordingly, UKCWC encourages all those who can legitimately claim reimbursement of their expenses do so.
This includes those supporters who are minded to waive or not claim their reimbursement as a personal gift to the charity. Rather they should claim the reimbursement to which they are entitled and then back-donate it to the charity, thereby making it eligible for Gift Aid.
Procedures: Reimbursement of Expenses and Purchases
Submitting Claims for Reimbursement of Expenses and Purchases
- Claims for the reimbursement of expenses must be submitted on UKCWC’s approved claims form. Ad hoc claims will not be considered.
- Claims for the reimbursement of expenses must be accompanied by documentary evidence of the expense (e.g. point-of-sale receipt, travel ticket, etc)
– Where such evidence is not available the claimant must provide a written explanation to the Committee for approval;
– UKCWC reserves the right to decline to reimburse expenses for which reasonable documentary evidence has not been provided;
- All completed expenses claim forms must be authorised by the Committee;
- Expenses claim forms may also include claims for the reimbursement of goods/services purchased by the claimant on behalf of the charity.
- Claims for the reimbursement of purchases must be accompanied by documentary evidence of each purchase (e.g. point-of-sale receipt, travel ticket, etc).
- When it is not practical to use public transport, or where more than one employee or volunteer is travelling the same journey, travel by private vehicle is allowed and petrol/diesel incurred can be reimbursed as a way of mileage allowance. Prior approval must be obtained from the Committee.
– You may only use your private car in connection with UKCWC activities if, at the time of each journey, it has a valid: (a) certificate of insurance for the kind of journey involved; (b) road tax (if required); (c) MOT certificate (if more than 3 years old).
– Parking costs incurred when on charity activity away from the normal place of work can be reimbursed.
- Taxis (preferably pre-booked mini-cabs rather than “on demand” hire) may be used where either no public transport is available or the journey time by public transport is unreasonably long (particularly where the journey involves multiple changes).
Subsistence costs (e.g. for refreshments, meals, hotel accommodation) can only be claimed when an employee or volunteer is on authorised charity business away from their normal place of work.
On a case by case basis, each project/activity can have a budget plan approved by the Committee, and an employee or volunteer can be reimbursed a fixed amount without accompanying receipts.
The Charity will reimburse employees and volunteers for the actual costs of calls made from their personal telephones made whilst carrying out work for the charity because charity provided telephone services were not available. This includes calls made on a home or mobile telephone or in a public call box.
No ‘reimbursement’ will be made for the notional cost of calls which incurred no actual cost to the claimant because they were covered by a contract which included an allocation of ‘free’ calls.
Other Types of Expenses
The above examples of expenses claims are illustrative, not definitive.
Expenses not detailed above will only be paid if authorised (in advance whenever possible) by the Committee.
Reimbursement of Expenses and Purchases
- All claims submitted for the reimbursement of expenses incurred on charity activities and/or purchases made on behalf of UKCWC will be vetted for compliance with charity law, taxation law and these policies and procedures before being authorised for reimbursement.
- Claims which are not in the prescribed form, incomplete (e.g. missing required supporting documents), inaccurate or otherwise not compliant with relevant legislation will be returned for correction or rejected.
- Valid claims will be authorised for reimbursement as soon as is reasonably practicable after receipt.