It is not the role of either my Department or Revenue to review the published list of tax-exempt charitable organisations to improve the representation from a particular sector.
It is up to individual bodies to apply to the Charities Regulator (CRA) for charitable status. The CRA is responsible for maintaining the public register of charitable organisations and determining whether an organisation’s activities meet the ‘charitable purposes’ test.
Once a charity is registered with the CRA, it can apply to Revenue for charitable tax exemption. Revenue compiles the list of tax-exempt charitable organisations which it is satisfied have met the relevant conditions to be granted charitable tax exemption and continue to comply with these conditions. The nature of an organisation’s activities is not one of the relevant conditions for obtaining, and maintaining, charitable tax exemption.
I am advised by Revenue that to apply for charitable tax exemption an organisation is required to submit the application form “Charities and Sports Bodies e-application” online through the Revenue Online Service (ROS). The charity’s application for tax exemption must include:
- the entity’s latest financial accounts or details of its financial plans,
- a statement of its activities and plans, and
- a copy of the charity's constitution which has been approved by the CRA.
Once the charity has been granted tax exemption, Revenue will issue a Charitable Tax Exemption Number or CHY Number. The charity does not need to renew its exemption provided it continues to meet the conditions for retaining the exemption.
Once Revenue grants a CHY Number to a charity, it must:
- remain tax compliant,
- maintain its charitable status with the CRA and comply with the Charities Act 2009,
- use all income for its main charitable purpose only,
- keep proper records and accounts,
- submit a copy of its first year’s financial accounts within 18 months of receiving the exemption,
- keep audited accounts if its annual income is over €100,000,
- notify Revenue’s Charities and Sports Exemptions Unit of any change of details, and
- request prior approval from Revenue’s Charities and Sports Exemptions Unit if the charity intends to accumulate funds for more than two years along with the reasons for the accumulation.
Further information on the charitable tax exemption, including links to the list of bodies with the exemption, is available on the Revenue website.