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HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

Information disclosure Gateways with other government departments: Charity Commission

The Charity Commission for England and Wales is established by law as the regulator and registrar of charities in England and Wales. Its aim is to provide the best possible regulation of these charities in order to increase their efficiency and effectiveness and public confidence and trust in them.

Which part of HMRC can disclose this information?

Only HMRC business areas which deal with charities should disclose information under this gateway, i.e. the Charities team within Charity, Assets and Residence.

The purpose for which information may be disclosed

To assist the Charity Commission in regulating and registering charities in England and Wales. This will typically be to enable the Charity Commission to carry out its enquiries and investigations into individual charities; to deal with deliberate fraud or dishonesty within charities; to provide operational guidance to charities; to conduct review visits to charities; and to maintain its programme of regulatory reports highlighting good practice to help charities improve their own performance and learn lessons from others.

Information which can be disclosed

Direct and indirect tax information that relates to the name and address of any institution which has for any purpose been treated by HMRC as established for charitable purposes; information as to the purposes of an institution and the trusts under which it is established or regulated, where disclosure is made by HMRC in order to give or obtain assistance in determining whether the institution ought for any purpose to be treated as established for charitable purposes; information with respect to an institution which has for any purpose been treated as so established but which appears to HMRC to be, or to have been, carrying on activities which are not charitable, or to be, or to have been, applying any of its funds for purposes which are not charitable.

Procedure to follow

If you are not directly working in Charities, please seek further advice before disclosing.

Legislation which allows disclosure

  • S57 Charities Act 2011

Devolved assemblies

This guidance applies to England and Wales only. However, HMRC staff in Scotland or Northern Ireland may disclose information to the Charity Commission where the institution in question is, should be, or was registered in England or Wales as a charity.

HMRC has the ability to share information with the Office for the Scottish Charity Regulator in certain circumstances. Please see IDG53600 for guidance on making these disclosures.

Further guidance

If you receive a request for information and are unsure how to proceed, please contact your Data Guardian for advice.