Regulator offers filing extension for charities affected by covid-19

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Charity Commission has said any charity that needs an extension to their annual return deadline should get in contact to ask for one

The regulator said it acknowledged that during the current crisis, the charity sector will face challenges of looking after its staff, volunteers and trustees who may fall ill, have to self-isolate, or have to look after loved ones.

The sector also has a vital role to play in looking after its beneficiaries, many of whom will be amongst the most vulnerable during the public health emergency.

In response, the Charity Commission said: ‘We want to assure charities that our approach to regulation during this period will be as flexible and supportive as possible.

‘Charities’ primary interest, and ours, must be looking after the public and the communities that we serve.

‘Charities can feel confident that we will, where possible, act in a pragmatic way by taking account of the wider public interest during this unprecedented period.’

As an immediate step, charities that are due to submit an annual return imminently, but feel unable to do so, are asked to call the Commission to request a filing extension.

The regulator has been discussing the impact of the current situation with government and the sector and says it will continue to do so over the coming days. Any further measures to help will be communicated in due course.

Charities can also call the Commission’s contact centre, which is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, telephone 0300 066 9197.

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