Commission issues annual return reminder

The Charity Commission has issued an annual return reminder to charities.

The 2015 return, which is available online here, contains three new questions, which were introduced following a consultation carried out last year. They are:

  • in the reporting period, how much income did you receive from contracts from central or local government to deliver services and/or grants from central or local government?
  • does your charity have a policy on paying its staff?
  • has your charity reviewed its financial controls during the reporting period?

The annual return must be completed by all registered charities with an income over £10,000 within ten months of their financial year end. All charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs) must submit an annual return.

The Charity Commission has also reminded charities and CIOs of their legal responsibility to file accounts, which must also be filed within ten months of the end of their financial year.

In a bulletin issued on 30 April, it said: “Charities with an annual income of over £25,000 are required to submit accounts, an independent examiner or auditor’s report, and the trustees’ annual report. If your charity is a CIO (charitable incorporated organisation) you MUST submit the annual return and accounts irrespective of your income.”

The commission added: “When a charity submits their accounts late, its register profile on www.gov.uk is marked as overdue, alerting potential donors. ALL trustees are responsible for ensuring their charity files on time.”

Research by the Charity Commission has previously revealed that three out of four adults would not support a charity that had failed to submit accounts and returns to the commission.

With falling behind on filing obligations exposing charities to the risk of alienating potential donors, working with professional advisors is a wise investment in ensuring Charity Commission reporting deadlines are met. For more information on how Moore Thompson’s charities team can help, please contact us.