In December, the Charities Regulator Chief Executive Mr John Farrelly said in an interview with <em>The Irish Times</em> that 12 State bodies may lose their charitable status in 2018, including the HSE.
A spokesperson for the Charities Regulator told the <strong><em>Medical Independent</em></strong> (<strong><em>MI</em></strong>) that no decision has yet been made as to whether the HSE could lose its charitable status this year. “The Charities Regulator plans to carry out a thematic review of registered charities (including State agencies registered as charities) later this year,” the spokesperson told <strong><em>MI</em></strong>.
“No decision will be made about the status of State agencies which are registered charities until this review is complete.”
In response to a number of questions from <strong><em>MI</em></strong>, the HSE did not confirm whether it was making any plans for possibly losing its charitable status and it did not outline what impact losing charity status could have on the HSE .
“In 2005, the HSE was granted charitable tax exemption under S207 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997,” a HSE spokesperson told <strong><em>MI</em></strong>. “The Charities Act 2009 was commenced in 2014, with the Charities Regulatory Authority being established. In accordance with section 40 of that Act, a charitable organisation, which was entitled to income tax exemption and has a CHY number [charity reference number], is deemed to be registered in the Register of Charitable Organisations,” continued the spokesperson.
A CHY number is the number allocated by the Revenue Commissioners to charities to whom they have granted charitable tax exemption.
“The HSE is currently a registered charitable organisation within the meaning of the Charities Act 2009, and holds a registered charity number. The HSE is not engaged in any direct discussions regarding its charitable status with the Regulator.”