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Charity sector update - April 2019

Digital risk management for charities - cybercrime update

Cybercrime poses increasing risks globally and across Ireland, with daily reports of attacks on a broad range of organisations. Cyber criminals do not distinguish between their victims, they simply exploit whatever they can with the intent to steal funds, information or to cause disruption. Charities are no exception. Like any other organisation, charities have become increasingly reliant on IT and technology to carry out day-to-day activities. Given the countless reports of cybercrime of varying scale, organisations are finally coming around to accepting that a cyber-attack is no longer a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’.

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Charitable trust in Ireland

In order to set up a charitable trust in Ireland, the organisation has to operate in Ireland (either as a company limited by guarantee (CLG), or other company types, associations or trusts). The charitable trust must have exclusively charitable purposes, which is examined on a case by case basis by the Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA) which was set up in 2014 to regulate Charities in Ireland. Charitable purposes are as follows:

  • the prevention or relief of poverty or economic hardship;
  • the advancement of education;
  • the advancement of religion; and
  • any other purpose that is of benefit to the community. Examples include the advancement of community welfare, including the relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health or disability, or the promotion of health inter alia.

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Looking closer to home, preventing insider fraud in charities

The aim of almost all Charities and not for profit organisations is to be of benefit to those around them. However, when organisations rely on a small number of staff or volunteers to run day-to-day operations, control and oversight are not always what they should be. There is no doubt that those working in the charitable and not for profit sector are committed to ensuring their particular organisations aims are achieved and often consider it preposterous that those they work side by side with would rob the organisation of much needed funds. This results in often too much faith and trust being placed in individuals and a lack of challenge to their actions and presents serious risks for trustees who have a legal duty to safeguard the charity’s assets.

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Upcoming Tax deadlines for charities:

  • 23 May 2019- Deadline to submit the March/April 2019 VAT returns.
  • 23 May 2019- Deadline for submission of corporation tax returns for companies with 31 August year ends.
  • 23 June 2019- Deadline for the first preliminary corporation tax instalment for large companies with 31 December year ends.  
  • 23 June 2019- Deadline for submission of corporation tax returns for companies with 30 September year ends.
  • 30 June 2019- Deadline to submit the claims for the VAT Compensation Scheme.

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