Charitable Status in Ireland

Having a CHY Number from Revenue DOES NOT satisfy the requirement to register Your organisation as a Charity – 
You Need a Charity Registration Number from the Charities Regulatory Authority.

What is the difference between your charity registration number and the CHY number you receive from the Revenue Commissioners?

The situation before 16 October 2014:

Before 16 October 2014, there was no requirement to register as a charity in Ireland.  Many charities applied to the Revenue Commissioners for charitable tax exemption, giving them a CHY number from Revenue.  Charities used the CHY number as a method of identifying the organisation as a charity.

The situation now:

A distinct regulatory body called the Charities Regulatory Authority was formally established on 16 October 2014.The newly established Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA), and the Revenue Commissioners are two distinct bodies.  It is the CRA that has responsibility for the registration and regulation of charities in Ireland, not the Revenue Commissioners. 

All charities in Ireland are now legally required to register with the CRA to receive their charity registration number - this is a new number, and is, as and from 16 October 2014, the number which identifies an organisation as a charity in the eyes of the law and the public, and the number which is now legally required to appear on all printed/fundraising materials, website, email signatures etc.

Note: charities which were registered with the Revenue Commissioners for charitable tax exemption (i.e.: had a CHY number) as at 15 October 2014, were automatically placed on the CRA register of charities. Click here for further information on what to do if you are in this category.

All charities are legally required to register with the CRA to receive a charity registration number

Charities in Ireland that do not already have a CHY number from the revenue Commissioners can alsoapply to the Revenue Commissioners for a CHY number for charitable tax exemption, but this number is now only relevant for tax exemption purposes i.e.: it relates to the organisation's relationship with Revenue only, and not to its legal status as a charity

To reiterate: No charity is legally required to apply to Revenue for a CHY number unless they wish to avail of charitable tax exemption schemes – an organisation may do so on an optional basis, if it may incur certain tax  liabilities as a result of its activities.  However, any organisation which is a charity, refers to itself as a charity or creates the impression in the public mind that it is a charity, is legally required to be registered with the CRA.

Click here to learn more about registering with the CRA.

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