Update on Charities Act 2009

cra2The Charities Act 2009 commenced alongside the launch of the Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA) on the 16th of October 2014 with the exception of Part 4 (statutory investigations) and Part 7 (miscellaneous). About 8,500 organisations were transferred from the Revenue database under Section 4 of the Act. At present all existing CHY charities are deemed registered with additional information still being required for some. Charities not registered must apply to register by the 16th April 2015.

The benefits of using the Charity System include:
• The process is fast and flexible and doesn't require charities to write to or call the office
• Processing times are faster, in many cases the changes are reflected in the Charity Register the next day
• Acknowledgements are sent more or less immediately
• Validation ensures that data entered is correct and you are notified immediately of any errors
• The service is 24 hours a day 365 days a year which allows charities to access and update their details anytime.

The register of charities is now published with 230 charities currently registered in Kerry. The database can be searched according to location or CHY number for example. The data currently available on the register includes:
• Name
• Address
• Charitable Purpose (in some cases)
• Registered Charity Number

Database3

CHY Charities need to:
Log in to the CRA website using the PIN provided in the letter received from the CRA to create an account. The CRA are due to write to all charities by the end of January.
• If you do not receive a letter by the end of January you can apply for an account here.
• Login to your account to register your charity or update your charity details. You will need your charity's username (email address) and password to do this.

Non-CHY Charities in existence before 16th Oct 2014 (commencement of Act) need to:
Step 1: Apply for a CRA account
Step 2: Use PIN to Log in to the CRA. PIN will be provided in a letter received from the CRA after submitting for a CRA account in step 1.
Step 3: Login to your account to register your charity. You will need your charity's username (email address) and password to do this.

New Charities need to:
Step 1: Apply for a CRA account
Step 2: Use PIN to Log in to the CRA. PIN will be provided in a letter received from the CRA after submitting for a CRA account in step 1.
Step 3: Login to your account to register your charity. You will need your charity's username (email address) and password to do this.

Information needed to create a charity account with CRA:
• Organisation's name
• CHY number if you have one
• Charitable purpose
• Country where your charity was established
• Whether you have a principal place of business and activities in the Republic of Ireland
• Your charity's financial year end date
• Name and address to whom we should send security information plus telephone number
• To agree to our terms and conditions

Information needed to register as a Charity:
• Charity Details: Name & other names known by; Governing form, etc.
• Charitable Purpose: Your charity's purpose and objectives must be consistent with your governing document and you will have to report against those selected on an annual basis
• Activities: You will need to show how your activities directly support your objectives and how you are providing public benefit;
• Your charity's beneficiaries, average number of employees, number of volunteers and codes signed up to
• Addresses: Principal, Correspondence and all operational addresses
• Places where you operate outside Ireland: Name and country
• Fundraising: How you plan to raise money
• Trustees/Officers/Directors: Details of all officers
• Parent or Subsidiary organisations: name and type
• Financial: Balance date, Gross income and sources, total expenditure and expenditure on salaries; details of all bank accounts
• Information on risk assessment procedures, safety checks and safeguards employed where the charity's activities include working with vulnerable people
• Most recent set of accounts
• Governing document or constitution
• Trustees' Declaration

Future reporting requirement of charities:
Under Section 52 of the Act, all charities will be required to submit an annual report to the CRA. The first reports will be due 10 months after the first end of year that falls after the 16 October 2014. For example, a Charity with an end of year date of 31st December 2014, will need to submit their first report before 31st October 2015. Reporting and accounting standards have yet to be set by regulations so at present the content of charity report and accounts is not yet prescribed.

In advance of these regulations the CRA will be asking charities to report the following:
• A short online information return
• A copy of the annual report
• A copy of the annual statement of accounts or an income and expenditure report (unless exemption applies).
• An auditor's report

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Tags: Organisations Charities Act