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Charity Commission updates

2015 Annual Return changes

This is now available to complete on GOV.UK. The return includes three new questions:

In the reporting period, how much income did you receive from:

  • Contracts from central or local government to deliver services?
  • Grants from central or local government?
  • Does your charity have a policy on paying its staff?
  • Has your charity reviewed its financial controls during the reporting period?

The Charity Commission has included online guidance with regard to completing the return.

The return must as ever be completed by all registered charities with an income over £10,000 and all Chief Information Officers irrelevant of income, within 10 months of the financial year end.

Accounts reviews

The Charity Commission has published its annual report on the quality of charity accounts and public benefit reporting by charities with incomes over £25,000.

Most of the trustees’ annual reports that were reviewed did not demonstrate a clear understanding of the public benefit reporting requirement. Many did not explain how their activities benefitted their beneficiaries. The most common omission was the required statement as to whether the trustees have had due regard to the commission’s guidance on public benefit.

Of the sample selected several charities had failed to submit one or more of the principal components e.g. the trustees’ annual report, the audit report or independent examiner’s report, or the accounts themselves. One set of accounts included notes of the AGM instead of a trustees’ annual report.

The report can be found at

Authority to employ trustees

Authority to employ a trustee may be set out in a charity’s governing document or may be obtained from the Charity Commission. The consent the Charity Commission may be able to give relates to:



Date: 24th July, 2015
Author: Wendy Bambrick


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