The Annual Reporting Obligations of Charities and the Charities Regulatory Authority’s Annual Report 2022
The Charities Regulatory Authority’s (“CRA”) Annual Report 2022 shows that a significant number of charities within Ireland are failing to adhere to their statutory obligations regarding the filing of annual reports. Although the CRA reports that a broad improvement has taken place in governance standards across the charity sector in the previous year (with 73% of charities indicating they are in compliance with the Charities Governance Code), it also notes that 41% of charities failed to file an annual report on their activities and finances within 10 months of their financial year-end – this being the statutory deadline set out in section 52(1) of the Charities Act, 2009.
There has been a 5% decrease in the percentage of charities adhering to these statutory obligations year-on-year, and the CRA has announced in a recent press release that it is engaged in a “targeted compliance and enforcement initiative in order to bring non-compliant charities into compliance”. The CRA has indicated that charities that have annual reports outstanding for a considerable period will receive a warning from the CRA and the regulator has made clear in another press release this year that those that remain in breach of their statutory obligations may face prosecution and/or the removal of the charity from the Register of Charities. In 2022, the CRA opened two statutory investigations into charities and published one inspector’s report.
The multi-disciplinary Charity Law Group in Arthur Cox can provide charities and charity trustees with advice on this matter and a range of others, including:
- The role of trustees/directors and governance issues
- Applications to and engagement with the CRA and the Charities Division of the Revenue Commission
- Tax advice including applications for tax exemptions
- Advice on the acquisition, disposal and maintenance of property
- Changes to legal structures/re-organisations of charitable entities
- Litigation advice and case management
- Fundraising queries
Our Charity Law Group has considerable experience acting for a broad range of Irish and international charities, and several of our Partners and Associates participate at the board level of charitable bodies operating at both national and local level. We are aware of many of the practical issues facing charities in diverse sectors, ranging from trust, litigation and governance matters to the manner in which charities ought to engage with the CRA and with the Revenue Commissioners. To discuss any aspect of the above, please get in touch with Philip Smith or Sarah McCague of Arthur Cox’s Charity Law Group in the first instance.