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Charities Act

22nd October 2014 | News

Thursday 16 October 2014, was a significant day in the life of every charity in Ireland.

It was the establishment day for the purposes of the Charities Act 2009 (the “Charities Act”) and it is the date on which various provisions of the Charities Act come into operation. This Order provides for the establishment of the Charities Regulatory Authority (“CRA”) and the regulation of charitable organisations.
Every charity in Ireland that has a CHY number from the 16th October will be a registered charity within the meaning of the Charities Act. The CRA will publish a Register of Charities as soon as possible after 16 October. At first, the Register will only contain the names and addresses of charities that have a CHY number.
Once your charity appears on the Register, it will be subject to the requirements and ongoing filings as set out in the Charities Act and the Charity Trustees of those charities need to be aware of the responsibilities and duties.
Charities (including Education bodies) that do not have a CHY number will not automatically be registered on the Register. Those charities need to apply to the CRA to have that charity registered. This application must be received by the CRA on or before 15 April 2015.

Information for education bodies (as of 22 October 2014)

The CRA are not yet accepting applications for registration from charities that are education bodies within the meaning of the Charities Act 2009. If your charity is an education body and has no CHY number, you should not start the registration process yet. The CRA will publish further information on the requirements for education bodies in the near future. Education bodies with CHY numbers are automatically registered and will receive a letter inviting them to create an online account with us and update their details in the resister of charities.

What are schools obliged to do and are they excluded from anything under the Charities Act?
Schools come within the terms of the Charities Act, as they fall within the definition of ‘education body’ in the Act. Education bodies are excluded from certain requirements under the Act. These are account/finance related matters, and the reason the schools are excluded from these requirements is that they will continue to be obliged to report to the Department of Education on financial matters. However, all other provisions of the Charities Act apply to education bodies (and therefore schools). So, for instance, schools will be required to;
•    pay whatever fee is set by the CRA
•    prepare and submit an Annual Report to the CRA, as required under section 52 of the Act

Help to be provided?
It is important that schools and the separate entities within schools (including boards of management and parents associations) understand their obligations, structure their charity registrations correctly from the outset, and provide information to the CRA in a coherent and considered way. Once all necessary information is available then the CPSMA will be available to support schools with what is required of them.


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