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Charity news

Annual returns

The Charity Commission, which is the relevant body for charities registered in England and Wales, has announced that its latest annual return is now available and can be found on GOV.UK.

All registered charities, in England and Wales, with an income of more than £10,000 and all Charitable Incorporated Organisations reporting on their financial years ending in 2016 must complete the online form within ten months of the end of their financial year.

Part of the data submitted is used to populate the Charity Commission's online public register of charities, which is a key source of data about charities in England and Wales.

The Charity Commission would like trustees to be aware that the function to view and amend details about a charity's trustees, contact addresses and emails is now separate from the annual return, so charities can update these details at any time. Charities will also be asked to confirm that this information is correct before submitting their annual return.

David Holdsworth, Chief Operating Officer at the Charity Commission, said:

'We are delighted to announce the official launch of the 2016 annual return in both English and Welsh. This is a first for the commission and is also part of our commitment to becoming a truly digital by default regulator. We have worked closely with the sector to ensure we are providing easy to use services that help trustees comply with their filing duties.

Although charities have 10 months from the end of their financial year to complete their annual return, we urge them not to wait until then. We also encourage them to take a minute to make sure their information is up to date, and to use the built in customer feedback to tell us what they think.'

The commission is also taking this opportunity to remind trustees that filing their charity's annual return on time is essential so that:

  • they are accountable to the regulator,
  • transparent in their activities for the benefit of the public, and
  • demonstrate compliance to their donors.

Failure to file on time can result in the commission taking regulatory action.

Northern Ireland

For charities registered in Northern Ireland the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the relevant body and returns should be submitted via charitycommissionni/annual reporting. This applies to registered charities, not to those on the deemed list which have not yet been entered on the register.

Scotland

Please note that for charities registered in Scotland the equivalent return, should be submitted to the Scottish Charity Regulator within nine months of their year end OSCR/online-services.

Fundraising

In other charity news the Scottish Charity Regulator has announced the adoption of a new model for fundraising regulation for Scotland. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the new Fundraising Regulator will oversee standards for fundraising and deal with complaints about charity fundraising.

In Scotland a new Independent Panel, with representatives from the public, fundraising professional bodies, charities, OSCR and the Scottish Government will fulfil this function. The aim is to have the panel in place by the autumn of 2016. In the meantime a Scottish fundraising complaints hub has already been set up.

Please contact us for further information on charity returns and accounts or any guidance in this area.

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