Isle of Man sees reform of charities law

31 October 2018 | Applicable law: England and Wales

The Isle of Man government closed its consultation for a new Charities Registration and Regulation Bill at the start of October, and the results can now be expected at the start of November.

The purpose of the Bill is to bring Manx law's definition of what is charitable and its system of regulating charities more in line with the approach taken in England and Wales following the Charities Act 2011.

In particular, we note the following proposed changes which mirror the development of the law and the Charity Commission's role in England and Wales:

  • Incorporating statutory heads of charitable purpose to run parallel with those introduced by the Charities Act 2011 therefore updating the meaning of ‘charity’ on the Island so that it remains at least as broad as in England and Wales

  • Bolstering the role of the Attorney General in the Isle of Man by combining the functions of registrar and regulator in HM Attorney General, again mirroring the Charity Commission in England and Wales

  • Establishing a modern register of charities operating in the Isle of Man and a register of charity mergers to simplify the treatment of legacies and donations made to charities

Charities registered in England and Wales should also note the proposals in the Bill for 'foreign charities' which are established elsewhere than on the Island but registered in the Isle of Man.

These 'foreign charities' would need to appoint a 'responsible person' who is resident in the Isle of Man to 'retain all books, records and documents of the charity which relate in the Island' and file accounts of its activities in the Isle of Man with the registrar.

We recommend that charities registered in England and Wales and the Isle of Man 'watch this space' to see whether they need to identify and appoint such a 'responsible person' in the Isle of Man and make additional any administrative filings for the updated charity register.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.


Related experience

As a full-service law firm, we are able to provide advice and information about a wide range of other issues. Here are some related areas.

Join the club

We have lots more news and information that you'll find informative and useful. Let us know what you're interested in and we'll keep you up to date on the issues that matter to you.