Charity

Constitutional changes for charities

A number of charities who received their CHY number from the Revenue Commissioners prior to 16 October 2014 will have received a letter from Revenue in recent weeks regarding the approval process for constitutional amendments.

Up until now, where one of these charities wished to amend its constitution, it was obliged to contact Revenue in the first instance. However, the process has changed now and constitutional amendments in respect of all charities must now be submitted to the Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA) for consideration and not to Revenue. Furthermore, in this correspondence, charities are advised to incorporate an amended clause (see below) into their constitutions when next amending the document, whenever that may be. The revised clause essentially sets out that the CRA should be contacted in the first instance in respect of all changes. There is no requirement to amend this constitutional clause until the board wishes to make additional amendments to its constitution.

If and when charities decide to change a constitution, they must do so through a change of purpose submission form which is also available from the CRA’s online portal. 

Constitution Clauses

As your charity was granted tax exemption by Revenue prior to 2014, it is likely that unless you have made alterations to it recently, your constitution states the following:

No addition, alteration or amendment shall be made to or in the provisions of this Constitution for the time being in force unless the same shall have been previously approved in writing by the Revenue Commissioners.

If the above-mentioned clause is in your current constitution, you should now change it to read:

In the case of companies:

Additions, alterations or amendments

The Company must ensure that the Charities Regulator has a copy of its most recent Constitution. If it is proposed to make an amendment to the Constitution of the Company which requires the prior approval of the Charities Regulator, notice in writing of the proposed changes must be given to the Charities Regulator for approval, and the amendment shall not take effect until such approval is received.

In the case of unincorporated bodies:

Additions, alterations or amendments

The Body must ensure that the Charities Regulator has a copy of its most recent Rules. If it is proposed to make an amendment to the Rules of the Body which requires the prior approval of the Charities Regulator notice in writing of the proposed changes must be given to the Charities Regulator for approval and the amendment shall not take effect until such approval is received.