Ireland: Upcoming Legal Deadlines For Charity Registration And Annual Reporting

Important legal deadlines are approaching for both registration and annual reporting with the Charities Regulatory Authority ("CRA"). For a majority of existing charities which have not yet completed registration and annual reporting, the legal deadline is 16 April 2016. The other applicable deadlines are set out below.

All charities which have not yet met their CRA registration and annual reporting obligations should now confirm which obligations and deadlines apply to them and take action without delay to ensure compliance.

This ezine explains what the relevant obligations are and which legal deadlines will apply to your charity. The contents of this ezine will not apply to your charity if you have already completed your registration and first annual report with the CRA.

What are the legal obligations?

All charities have two legal obligations (1) to register with the CRA and (2) to complete an annual report. The legal deadline for meeting these obligations will depend on the category your charity falls into.

Which category does you charity fall into?

Every charity will fall into one of the following three categories:

Category 1

Charities which were carrying on activities and had a CHY number (issued by the Revenue Commissioners) before 16 October 2014.

Registration deadline:

Category 1 charities were automatically registered with the CRA. These charities must complete the information pertaining to them that appears on the CRA's register and must do so before submitting their first annual report. The CRA is requesting that any Category 1 charities which have not yet completed their information in the register do so as soon as possible.  All charities in this category should have received a PIN letter from the CRA to enable them to create their CRA account.  If you did not receive a PIN letter you should contact the CRA by emailing info@charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie

Annual Reporting deadline:

Category 1 charities must submit their first annual report not later than 10 months after the end of the first financial year end falling after 16 October 2014. (See our detailed info-graphic below to check your exact annual report deadline). If your annual report deadline has already passed, an extension of time has been granted by the CRA until 16 April 2016.

In subsequent years, the annual report deadline will be not later than 10 months after each financial year end.

Category 2

Charities which were carrying on activities before 16 October 2014 but did not have a CHY number immediately prior to that date.

Registration deadline:

Category 2 charities were not automatically registered with the CRA and must therefore apply for registration with the CRA. The deadline for doing so is 16 April 2016. Once an application has been made by that date, Category 2 charities can continue to operate while their application is being processed by the CRA.

Annual Reporting deadline:

Category 2 charities must submit their first annual report not later than 10 months after the end of the first financial year end falling after their registration with the CRA. In subsequent years, the annual report deadline will be not later than 10 months after each financial year end.

The CRA is currently developing a simplified application process for small organisations which were in existence before 16 October 2014 and wish to register as charities.  This simplified process is only for organisations that will have a gross annual income of less than €10,000 for the foreseeable future.  If your organisation (1) was operating before 16 October, 2014 and (2) will have a gross annual income of less than €10,000 for the foreseeable future, you should send an email to info@charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie requesting the simplified application form. 

Category 3

New charities which were not on carrying on activities before 16 October 2014.

Registration deadline:

Category 3 charities must be registered with the CRA before they can operate as a charity.

Annual Reporting deadline:

Category 3 charities must submit their first annual report not later than 10 months after the end of their first financial year end falling after their registration with the CRA. In subsequent years, the annual report deadline will be not later than 10 months after each financial year end.

Please note that Category 3 charities cannot operate as a charity until such time as they are registered with the CRA. 

How can we help?

If your charity did not have a CHY number before 16 October 2014, but was in existence at that time, and has not yet registered with the CRA, it should begin its application to register immediately. The deadline of 16 April 2016 is an important statutory deadline. If you would like assistance, please contact a member of our Charity team.

If your charity is already registered and requires assistance fulfilling its annual reporting obligations, or if your charity is new and has not yet registered with the CRA, we would be happy to assist you to meet your charity's statutory obligations. 

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.

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