Charitable Status in Ireland
Updated: 8 November 2016
TO BE A RECOGNISED AND LEGAL CHARITY IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND YOU MUST BE ON THE REGISTER OF CHARITIES MAINTAINED BY THE CHARITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITY.
The Charities Regulatory Authority was formally established on 16 October 2014.The 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 legally required to register with the CRA and to have a charity registration number – since October 2014, this is 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.
Charities which were registered with the Revenue Commissioners for charitable tax exemption purposes (i.e.: had a CHY number) as at 16 October 2014, were automatically placed on the Register of Charities. Click here for further information on what to do if you are in this category.
Charities in Ireland that do not already have a CHY number from the revenue Commissioners can also apply to the Revenue Commissioners for charitable tax exemption and may receive a CHY number. This number is 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.
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. An organisation must be a registered charity with the CRA before applying to the Revenue Commissioners.
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.