Member of the Month // Back of the Sofa
‘Back of the Sofa’ is a free service that finds spare cash belonging to charities that they were previously unaware existed.
They offer advice and all the necessary forms for charities to apply for discounts on overheads, claim rebates and maximise available tax relief. They also offer fundraising ideas that do not rely on asking supporters to make further donations. The service is primarily aimed as an online tool for the hundreds of thousands of finance directors and volunteer treasurers working in the UK’s charity sector. However, founder Nick Heath is a Hampshire resident (Cheriton) and happy to talk to any local charity that would like help in identifying opportunities to boost their funds.
As well as how to save time and money when buying utilities, Back of the Sofa pinpoints where reductions may have been historically overlooked and can be reclaimed. Some charities, for example, are mistakenly charged the wrong rate of VAT on their energy bills and this, in turn, results in the Climate Change Levy (a tax on businesses) being automatically added on top. However in the majority of cases both of these overpayments can be backdated 4 years.
Treasurers of charity and community buildings may like to know about a free & impartial advice service that Action Hampshire has met recently specifically to talk about energy costs.
‘Back of the Sofa’ helps charities of all shapes and sizes find extra money by getting the best deal for utilities and checking to see whether overpayments have been made incorrectly in the past. For example it has a VAT checker service that has helped village halls reclaim 4 years’ worth of VAT that their energy companies have billed them for by mistake. Nick Heath from Back of the Sofa said: “This is far more common than people realise and well worth looking into as it can result in thousands of pounds being returned.”
Back of the Sofa also helps those who want to see if they can switch to cheaper unit rates for their gas and electricity – either from their existing supplier or by entering a new contract with a different one. As well as comparing unit rates, it can advise on: standing charges, length of contract, Green energy options and which suppliers have better customer service. Anyone deciding to switch can opt to have this done for them – in which case Back of the Sofa would earn a commission, paid separately by the new supplier.
You can contact Back of the Sofa by: