Charity guidance issued on changing financial year

The Charity Commission has published guidance on the circumstances and procedures for charities wishing to change their financial year, which vary according to whether or not the charity is incorporated as a company

In either case, it is not possible to change a charity’s financial year or period if the latest annual return and accounts (if required) are overdue.

Anyone wishing to change a charity’s financial year will need to sign into the Charity Commission’s online service using the charity registration number and online services password.

If the charity is unincorporated, it is possible to change the financial year or period to run for more or less than 12 months. It needs to be a minimum of six months, and no longer than 18 months.

It is only possible to change the dates for the current financial year, and a change can be made only once every three years.

Changing the financial year or period will also change the deadline for the charity to file its annual return and accounts.

If the charity is incorporated as a company, it is possible to shorten the financial year or period as often as required. The minimum period it can be shortened to is one day.

It is possible to lengthen the company’s financial year to a maximum of 18 months, but this can only be done once every five financial periods.

Guidance: Change your charity’s financial year is here

Report by Pat Sweet

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