- Subscriptions to Hackney Singers (“Fees”) are set annually by the Committee taking account of the recommendation of the Treasurer.
- Fees are preferably paid by bank transfer and administered by the Treasurer/Deputy Treasurer. Cheques and cash may be given to the Section Coordinator who passes them on to the Treasurer / Vice Treasurer, who will issue receipts for fees paid in cash. Receipts for cheques or direct bank payments are not issued.
- The current standard rate of fees is £185 annually or £95.00 a semester (agreed by the Committee in April 2013) payable in September and February. New members who pay full subscriptions and who join just after the October and Spring Concerts pay a probationary fee of £70 until the next subscription deadline (There is no reduction for concessions). Please note that the probationary fee does not apply to former members who have been absent from the choir for less than 2 years.
- A concessionary rate of no more than 30% of the standard rate is allowed to people who are receiving certain benefits or are on low income, or in particular circumstances, as set out in paragraph 13 below. Currently this amounts to £50 a year or £23.50 a semester.
- Should any member or potential member be unable to afford the concessionary rate, s/he may approach any section representative or other Committee member in confidence and the subscription may be waived at the Treasurer’s discretion.
- Any member may wish to make a higher payment and this is welcomed. Members are asked to do this as two separate payments and to identify the additional payment as a donation.
- If members who have claimed a concessionary rate have a change of circumstances during the fee period which renders them no longer entitled to a reduction in fees they are asked to declare this to their section representative and to pay the appropriate fee at the next payment period. This means that a member who has paid the concessionary rate in September should pay the full half year fee in February if their circumstances have changed in the meantime.
- Fees are payable in advance. Members are asked to ensure they pay their fees promptly, if possible online and otherwise to section representatives and without repeated reminders.
- Choir members are expected to pay their fees by the 3rd week of the semester. Members who do not pay their fees or are persistently late paying them, should be referred by section representatives to the Membership Secretary.
- On such a referral, the Membership Secretary has the discretion to deal with the matter her / himself or to refer it to the Committee.
- If a member’s membership of Hackney Singers is terminated in accordance with the constitution a prorated proportion of the fees which the member has paid will be refunded.
- Any queries with regard to fees and payment should be referred to the Section Coordinator.
- Fee refunds: Fees will not normally be refunded except in the following cases:
a) Where a member has paid a full half year or full year in advance but is unable to attend at all, all fees will be repaid.
b) Where a member has paid a whole year in advance but is unable to attend the second paid period (from February to end of July) at all, he/she will be refunded a sum equal to the full fees minus half fees (currently £95.00 or 27.50) i.e. a refund of £70 or £23.50 for concessionary subscriptions.
c) Where a member has begun a paid half period but has to withdraw due to extenuating circumstances, the Committee can decide at its discretion to refund fees pro rata.
- Fees include the cost of music except the cost of carol books needed for concerts at Christmas. Members are expected to buy or pay for the hire of carol books as required.
- Members are entitled to the concessionary rate in the following circumstances only:a) They (or their partner) receive one or more of the following “means tested” benefits.
- Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Benefit;
b) They are:
- Asylum seekers in receipt of government support
- Full time students on low income, or
- Lone carers who have to pay for care cover in order to attend the majority of sessions; orc) If they do not fall within (a) or (b) above but they suggest another reason why they should be eligible for the concessionary rate and this is agreed by their section coordinator and the Treasurer.
Hackney Singers reclaims Gift Aid on 85% of the membership subs received.
People declaring their Hackney Singers subscription as a charitable donation on their tax return should make sure that their declaration reflects the fact that 15% of the subscription is not treated as a donation. In other words, only 85% of the HS subscription paid in any tax year can be treated as a charitable donation that will attract Gift Aid.
Those who add an extra amount (as can afford a bit more) should make two separate payments: one as membership the second as a donation This is because we cannot claim Gift Aid on the donation. But please do keep that donation coming, if you can afford it.