We are pleased to advise that the process for registering charities with the Charities Regulatory Authority ("CRA") and the preparation of Annual Reports has been simplified. 

The CRA's online system has now been divided into two stages: Registration and Annual Reporting.

Stage 1: Registration

If your charity has already completed and submitted its registration with the CRA, prior to this simplification, your charity does not need to take any further steps in relation to registration now. The additional information that your charity provided on the old registration form, above and beyond that which is now required in the new simplified registration, will be retained by the CRA and transferred to the annual report section or maintenance screen for your charity, as we explain below.

If your charity has not already registered with the CRA, it should do so now via the newly simplified online registration form.

Once your charity has completed and submitted its registration, your online CRA account will show a "maintain charity details" screen. This will enable you to maintain and update key details about your charity such as its current trustees and its address. If any of these details change, you should insert the changes into the "maintain charity details" screen of your online CRA account.

Stage 2: Annual Reporting

After your charity completes Stage 1, (Online Registration), the CRA will notify it of its annual report date by email. If your charity has a financial year end date of 31 December then your annual report date will be 31 October. Online Registration (Stage 1) must be completed and submitted to the CRA before your annual report (Stage 2) can be completed.

The exact annual reporting requirements will depend on your charity's gross income. Some of the additional information which had been required under the old registration form will now be required as part of your annual report.

If your charity had already provided this additional information to the CRA it will be automatically transferred into your annual report. Any such information should be re-checked to ensure that it is current and correct. For example you should ensure that all financial information provided relates to the relevant financial year.

If your charity had not completed the old registration form prior to this simplification, then it will be required to complete each field of the annual report.

How Can We Help?

We recommend that all relevant charities submit their registrations and prepare for submission of their annual reports as soon as possible.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.