General outline: the registration condition
In England and Wales the Charities Act 1993 provides for a register (IHTM11137) of charities. Registration under the Act indicates that an institution is or was a qualifying charity at any time when it is or was on the register. If an organisation in England and Wales is required to register by the Charities Act 1993/section 3, it must do so to qualify for the charity exemption. But not all charities have to be registered under the Act, so a body that is not registered may still be a qualifying charity. HMRC Charities maintain a database (IHTM11136) of approved charities that are eligible for UK tax reliefs. The database includes some non-registered charities and charities which have been accepted in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
An eligible organisation outside England and Wales must be regulated by any body in their home country with an equivalent function to the Charity Commission or any similar regulator, as required by the law of the home country. This requirement can only apply if there is an equivalent regulator in the organisation’s home country.