Charity annual return service 2017 released

The Charity Commission has released the 2017 annual return service for charities to submit income and expenditure figures for 2017, which is due within 10 months of the end of financial reporting period for charities with income of more than £10,000

The latest annual return can only be submitted once the 2016 returns have been uploaded.

The charity’s annual return must be submitted as soon as the latest accounts and trustees’ annual report is approved. If the charity’s income is more than £10,000, an annual return must be completed within 10 months of the end of each financial reporting period. 

If the CIO has an income over £25,000 it will also need to submit an independent examiners’ or audit report along with a trustees’ annual report.

All charities have a legal responsibility to prepare and send an annual return to the Charity Commission. Failing to do so risks the public’s trust in the charity and its reputation.

The requirements to complete a charity annual return are dependent on the charity’s income, as follows:

  • under £10,000, the charity must submit income and expenditure figures - the easiest way to do this is through the annual return service;
  • between £10,001 and £25,000, an annual return form is required; and
  • more than £25,001, an annual return form with a set of annual accounts as well as an independent examiners’ or audit report, and a trustees’ annual report (TAR) is required.

The Charity Commission warned: ‘If you are having difficulties logging into the system, it could be that the service is experiencing high demand at that time – try it again later.’

If a charity fails to meet this legal requirement, the charity’s details are marked ‘overdue’ and there is the risk of an investigation into the financial probity of the charity.

The Charity Commission guide to the accounting essentials for charities explains the type of accounts charities have to prepare, and whether an audit or independent examination is needed.

Charity Commission guidance

Prepare a charity annual return

Charity reporting and accounting: the essentials March 2015 (CC15c)

Report by Sara White

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