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Charities: Registration

Volume 506: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what categories of charity are exempt from registration. (319672)

Within England and Wales, three categories of charity are not currently required to register with the Charity Commission:

Small charities with an annual income of below £5,000.

Excepted charities with an income below £100,000 are regulated by, but not registered with, the Charity Commission (although there is provision in the Charities Act 2006 for them to register voluntarily). The main groups of these charities are Parochial Church Councils, churches from certain Christian religious denominations, local scout and guide groups, and armed forces service non-public funds. Exception is conferred by Order of the Commission or the Secretary of State.

Exempt charities, which are not registered with the Charity Commission and are currently not subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of the Charity Commission. Examples of such charities include universities, Boards of Trustees of certain museums and galleries, Kew Gardens, and charitable Industrial and Provident Societies. Most categories of exempt charities are defined by Schedule 2 to the Charities Act 1993 (“the 1993 Act”). In a few cases, exempt status has been conferred on some charities by other Acts of Parliament.

The Charities Act 2006 contains provisions to improve the regulation of exempt charities as charities. Some groups of exempt charities will remain exempt but with an existing “principal regulator” promoting charity law compliance. Other groups of exempt charities will cease to be exempt and will become excepted charities.