Charity Commission consultation

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has launched a consultation on proposals to introduce changes to the Annual Return and the content of the Register of Charities for 2014 onwards.

All registered charities with an income of £10,000 and above are required to submit an Annual Return, which is used to strengthen the Commission’s regulatory work and keeps the charity’s record on the register up to date for the many members of the public and others who use it.

Last summer the Commission consulted on the nature of information it should collect from charities to inform its wider information strategy. In addition, Lord Hodgson published a report of his review of the Charities Act 2006. In developing these proposals, the Commission has taken into account both the responses it received to the consultation and the recommendations in Lord Hodgson’s report.

There are ten proposals in total; new questions will ask for information that should be readily available to charities, including whether the charity has particular policies in place, such as safeguarding vulnerable beneficiaries, and whether the charity pays trustees for carrying out trustee duties.

In addition, charities with an income of £1million and above will no longer be required to complete a Summary Information Return. This is a significant proposal that involves replacing the requirement with an optional text box that offers all charities submitting an Annual Return the opportunity to describe their aims for the year and their corresponding achievements, all to be published on the register.

The remaining proposals do not require new questions but will have an impact on the information that will be made public on the charity register, including whether the charity is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board.

To view the full list of proposals and to participate in the consultation, which closes on Wednesday 17 July, visit

The Commission would like to hear from registered charities that complete the Annual Return and anyone who uses the online register.