Benefits and obligations of being registered

Being a Registered Charity brings with it a number of benefits, and some obligations. 

Benefits

Being a Registered Charity means:

  1. You can call yourself a registered charitable entity. It is an offence to even imply that you are a registered charitable entity if you are not registered under the Charities Act 2005.
  2. You are eligible for exemptions from income tax on all or some of your income, as well as being entitled to other tax benefits.  You may also be eligible for donee organisation status* - contact Inland Revenue for more information on this.
  3. You can apply to funders who only fund Registered Charities.
  4. Supporters, stakeholders and funders can find detailed information about your organisation on the Charities Register.
  5. Your registration number can be displayed on promotional and identification material to provide proof of your registered charitable status to prospective donors and funders.
  6. You will enjoy improved public trust and confidence as information about your activities and the way you use your resources is available on the Charities Register.
  7. Your representatives can attend Charities Services’ annual meetings and access education and training events and forums.

Obligations

Being a Registered Charity brings with it some obligations. You must:

  1. Operate in accordance with the Charities Act 2005.
  2. Carry out activities to advance exclusively charitable purposes as per the legal definition (see the Charitable purpose section of our website for more information).
  3. Operate in accordance with your organisation’s rules.
  4. Ensure your organisation provides only public (and not private) benefit. 
  5. Provide your registration number to any member of the public who asks for it.
  6. Report annually to Charities Services. This includes completing an Annual Return and providing non-financial and financial information through a performance report/financial statements that comply with reporting standards. A fee may apply for submitting your annual return. 
  7. Notify Charities Services of any changes to your organisation, such as a change in rules, officers, or address (via 'Update Charity Details').
  8. Provide any information about your organisation requested by Charities Services (under Section 51 of the Charities Act 2005).
  9. Recognise that your organisation’s information will be made publicly available on the Charities Register, unless Charities Services considers it is in the public interest not to include that information or document on the public Register.
*People can claim a tax credit when donating to a donee organisation.