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Changes announced by the Charity Commission to the 2015 annual returns

For years ending in 2015 the Charity Commission has announced changes to the annual return in order to strengthen its ability to identify risks and to improve charities accountability and transparency.

The three new areas charities have to account for in the 2015 return will relate to contracts and grants received from central or local government, policy on paying staff, and whether the financial controls were reviewed during the reporting period.

As a response to the concerns raised about some of the proposals of an earlier consultation, the annual return for 2015 will not include questions regarding charities’ campaigning expenditure, nevertheless as it is a matter of public interest, questions might be included in the 2016 return.

In addition, it also won’t require charities with income between £10,000 and £500,000 to include key financial information in the 2015 return, instead the Commission will be exploring technological solutions to collect this information without putting too great a burden on smaller charities.

The Commission is also getting tougher on those that fail to file annual returns and accounts on time. In September 2013 it launched a class inquiry to investigate charities that had not submitted accounts for two or more financial years.

Details regarding the changes to the annual return can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/charity-regulator-announces-changes-to-the-annual-return-for-charities

 

 

Date: 24th October, 2014
Author: Wendy Bambrick

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