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The Charities Act 2011

2nd March, 2012

The Charity Commission has confirmed that The Charities Act 2011 will come into effect on 14 March 2012. This is the new Act of Parliament given Royal Assent in December 2011 which sets out how all charities in England and Wales are to be registered and regulated.

The act will be of interest to trustees and directors of charities and also to people involved with administration of charities such as officials, employees and volunteers within the charity sector.

The act replaces:

  • Most of the Charities Acts 1992, 1993 and 2006
  • All of the Recreational Charities Act 1958

The new Act does not replace the sections in the Charities Acts about fundraising which have not yet taken effect (for example charitable collections in public places).

The 2011 Act is an attempt to make the law easier to understand by replacing four Acts of Parliament with one. It does not make any changes to the law itself.

A charity does not have to do anything differently but should now refer to the Charities Act 2011 in documents, reports, accounts or statements produced on or after 14 March 2012 (even if they relate to an earlier financial period).

However, documents will still be valid even if they inadvertently refer to the earlier Acts. There is no need to go back and change any documents that have already been finalised before 14 March 2012.

If you have any queries in relation to The Charities Act 2011, Charity Law in general or issues surround Charity property and land please contact Simon Ellis, head of Charity Law Team. Simon can be contacted at [email protected]

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