The Charity Commission has warned that many charities are running out of time to sort out their annual returns or accounts.
A snapshot on Friday 13 January, revealed that 3,584 charities with a last reported income over £250,000 and a financial year ending 31 March 2016 had not filed their accounts or annual return – meaning that these charities have less than 2 weeks before the 31 January deadline.
There is a legal requirement for trustees to submit this information and a failure to file or missed deadlines are taken very seriously by the Charity Commission. Financial irregularities of this kind can also damage a charity’s reputation and good standing amongst potential donors and members of the public.
The Charity Commission is reminding all charities that they have ten months from the end of an organisation’s particular financial year to submit their returns. The level of information required depends on a charity’s annual income:
- Less than £10,000 – you need only provide your charity’s income and expenditure figures – the easiest way to do this is via the annual return
- Between £10,001 and £25,000, you need to complete an annual return form
- More than £25,001, you must submit an annual return form along with a set of annual accounts as well as an independent examiners’ or audit report and a trustees’ annual report (TAR).
The rules for Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) are slightly different as regardless of income, all CIOs need to submit an annual return and annual accounts. Additionally, if you are a CIO with income over £25,000 you will also need to submit an independent examiners’ or audit report along with a Trustees’ Annual Report.
At Moore Thompson we can assist with annual returns and audits. Our advice is to ensure you submit your documents in plenty of time, rather than waiting until the approach of the deadline. If you are running out of time, we can still assist you but do act now by contacting us today so that we can help you avoid late filing penalties.