When to File the Charity Annual Return

Charity Return
Filing the Annual Return

Running a charitable organisation comes with a lot of deadlines and pressures. This is why employing services of a charity Accountant can be helpful.

While many of these are in constant flux as investors, funding, and events all shift their availability, others are far more rigid.

Typically the charity annual return deadline is ten months after the close of your financial year.

Currently, with the free fall of many organisations and business due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, extensions are easy to request

Requesting an extension is a solid plan if needed, but it’s better to have a plan and be ahead of the timeline. Keep an eye on the tax calendar to gauge important filing times for employees, volunteers, and students. 

Charity Annual Return Basics

Charity Report
Charity Return Basics

Reporting accounts for a charity does more than provide a peek at the bottom line. With required information including listings of the assets of an organisation, their value, income, and the legal structure it provides needed transparency for the public.

The annual return is a great way for a charity to demonstrate value to the public and describe the work that is done. 

Organisations That Need to Submit

Not all charities need to file charity accounts to the Charity Commission. Even if an organisation is not required to submit, all such groups are required to maintain accurate accounting records.

Smaller Organisations

Small Charity
Charity Donations

The organisations that need to submit are those that receive an income over £5,000 annually. Organisations meeting this minimum requirement legally file with the Charity Commission.

Up to £10,000, those registered with the Commission need to file an Annual Update. This update lists any changes to trustees, charity details, and income/expenditures. 

Above £10,000, a charity annual return becomes necessary. 

Organisations with an income between £25,000 and £250,000 must take an extra step in their return filing. These need to be audited or otherwise independently examined. In addition, a trustees’ annual report is filed alongside.

Larger Organisations

Above £250,000 but under £1m accrual accounts join the filing list. These also require independent examinations or audits. 

These rules also apply to charities with over £1m in income or £250,000 in income and £3.26m in assets.

Charitable Incorporated Organisations

All CIOs require registry with the Charity Commission and have to submit an annual return. Beyond basic filing, the same income breakdowns cover CIOs. Any additional paperwork required by a charity at an income tier is also required by a CIO.

When to Submit

Though it’s possible to set a charities financial year to terminate at any time, the Charity Commission still has a timeline. They expect submission by January 31st unless other arrangements (ie extensions) have been arranged.

Documents can be submitted by a trustee or an authorized adviser

Submitting outside of the deadline can flag a charity as overdue and create problems in maintaining the organisation. 

Stay on Track

Consistency and transparency engender trust. Staying ahead of filing deadlines for a charity annual return complies with the law and provides time to process. 

For charities that require audits, this extra time can be vital. For external examinations and audit work contact KG Accountants and see what we can do for you. 

By giving you a fixed and competitive price, we can take the worry away when it comes to running your charity; allowing you to concentrate on transforming people’s lives.

Arrange a FREE initial consultation.

0207 953 8913

How we can help

Call us today on 0207 953 8913 or complete our enquiry form in order to book a FREE initial consultation.

Categories: Charities, Charity Acounts, Charity Annual Return

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