Attention all charities! Have you submitted your NPO application yet? To make sure you’re in compliance with the law, submit your paperwork by Friday, 15 June — and as a thank you, Government will waive the $300 application fee!
Over the past five months, this column has introduced a number of charitable organisations.
These organisations not only make life better and more enjoyable for all in the Cayman Islands, but they were among the first to register with Government as Non-Profit Organisations, or NPOs, under the law.
Mandatory NPO registration is in effect for organisations that meet the legal definition of an NPO. A public NPO register, available at www.ciregistry.gov.ky, is updated monthly.
As of 6 June, there were 100 registered entities which included churches/religious organisations, sports organisations, philanthropic organisations and professional associations.
The NPO Law benefits members of the public who selflessly donate their time, money and resources to help the NPOs succeed. It helps the NPOs themselves. And it helps Cayman participate in the global fight against terrorist financing.
For the public, the register helps to assure them that they are dealing with reputable charities. Particularly helpful is that anyone can ask to view an NPO’s certificate of registration. These official certificates are issued to NPOs, upon registration, by the Registrar of NPOs.
NPO registration also benefits charitable organisations, because being on the register can be used to encourage the public to support the NPO’s efforts.
Furthermore, persons and entities from overseas may be more willing to donate to registered NPOs, as donors can use the NPO registration certificate to prove their charitable donations for tax purposes.
And of course, the reputation of the Cayman Islands is enhanced when NPOs uphold the law that helps protect them, and the local and international communities, against misuse such as terrorist financing.
As inconceivable as it may seem, there is global evidence that non-profit organisations have been used for illegal activities.
Cayman’s NPO Law includes enforcement aspects that help protect everyone against bad actors, by allowing local investigations into suspected abuse.
Moreover, the law gives Cayman the legal tools to assist other jurisdictions if crossborder misuse is suspected.
So...have you registered your NPO? Time is running out!
Unregistered NPOs can submit applications to the Cayman Business Portal, at www.cbp.ky. But make sure you’ve applied by 15 June, to ensure that your registration is completed by the 31 July legal deadline.
The process is simple — and as a bonus, applications are free until 31 July. They’ll cost $300 per application afterward.
As of 1 August, penalties for non-compliance will be enforced. ‘Section 80’ companies that meet the NPO definition, but aren’t registered by 31 July, will be struck off the register. Also, their assets would be vested in the Crown.
Unregistered NPOs also face a $500 penalty for noncompliance, plus $10 for every day beyond 1 August that they fail to apply for registration (up to a maximum fine of $3,000). Furthermore, Government can refuse to fund unregistered NPOs.
Although time is running out, you can still avoid the penalties but catch the benefits. Take advantage of the financial and reputational advantages by applying for the NPO register by 15 June.
For more information on NPOs, please contact General Registry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.