Ireland: The Charities Regulatory Authority - An Update

Last Updated: 10 June 2015
Article by Aoife Murphy


The Charities Regulatory Authority ("CRA") was established on the 16th October 2014.

At the time the CRA highlighted the establishment and maintenance of a register of charities and the roll out of financial and reporting obligations for charities as it's immediate priorities.

In this note we will look to see what progress has been made 6 months on.


Since the commencement of the Charities Act 2009 in October last year all charities operating within the State must, except in a limited number of cases, apply to the CRA to be registered in the Register of Charities.

Charities holding a valid CHY number on the 15th of October 2014 were automatically registered in the Register of Charities.

All other charities had initially until 16 April 2015 to apply to the CRA to register.

It has now been announced that only around 200 of more than 4,000 charities required to register with the CRA have done so leading the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to announce a 12 month extension of the registration deadline.

Any charity, which is not already on, or in the process applying to go on, the Register of Charities should visit the CRA website at where details of the registration process can be found.

To begin the registration process the charity needs to apply for an account with the CRA. The CRA will then send the charity a letter which will allow the charity to create an online account through which the charity can apply to be registered.

A charity which is required to apply to go on the Register and which fails to do so within the prescribed time limit will be guilty of an offence, as will be the trustees of the charity, if it continues to carry on activities in the State.

As charities will have effectively been given 18 months to register with the CRA it is unlikely that a further extension will be provided so charities should take steps sooner rather than later to engage in the registration process to avoid the possible imposition of penalties in the future.


The other main priority of the CRA is the roll out of the financial and annual activity reports which charities are obliged to prepare under the Charities Act 2009.

A charity is obliged, subject to certain exceptions, to prepare an annual statement of accounts. The form and information to be contained therein is to be specified by the CRA and may vary depending on the level of income or expenditure of the charity.

In certain cases the accounts must be audited or examined by an independent person approved by the CRA no later than 9 months after the end of the financial year concerned if the charity's income exceeds a certain level. The level of income is not specified in the Charities Act 2009 and will be contained in regulations to be published by the Minister for Justice but it cannot be set higher than €500,000. Writing recently in the Irish Tax Review Sandra Chambers, who is a board member of the CRA advises that the CRA is applying an administrative threshold of €100,000.

On registration, every charity will be issued with an annual return date so that they know when they need to file an annual report with the CRA. The Charities Act 2009 provides for the Minister for Justice and Equality to make regulations setting the format and content of the annual reports that charities are required to make to the CRA. These regulations have not yet been made.

The CRA hopes to publish a consultative document on the content of the annual return before summer 2015. In the meantime the CRA has specified that annual returns will contain:

  • An online return, to be completed by the charity directly,
  • A copy of the charity's annual report if prepared under any other regulatory requirement, this would include charities which are companies having to provide a copy of the annual return it files with the CRO,
  • A copy of the charity's annual statement of accounts, unless the charity has a financial reporting exemption, and
  • A copy of the auditor's report, if the charity's income was above €100,000 per annum.


Given that it took over 5 years to bring the Charities Act into force a 6 month registration deadline was always an ambitious one. At the same time given all of negative publicity surrounding certain charities in only the recent past the level of take up is disappointing.

Further consultation on the make-up of the annual return is welcome. Charites which are companies will hope that the CRA will use the information they must already provide to the CRO on an annual basis, to streamline this process much in the same way as it used the CHY database to speed up the registration process.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Mason Hayes & Curran
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Mason Hayes & Curran
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions