2014 annual return form

The Charity Commission updated the annual return form for 2014 is now available to complete online via their website, accompanied by new guidance to help those completing the form.

The annual return must be completed by all registered charities with an income over £10,000 within 10 months of their financial year end and the information is used to update the profile that appears on the online register of charities.

The regulator states that updating the annual return is important because it is a key tool that the Commission uses to inform its regulatory approach, promote good governance and make sure that charities are accountable to the public.

The updated form has been devised by the regulator following a consultation last year about the information that should be collected and displayed on the register of charities. The consultation suggested new questions for charities to answer and all were supported by the majority of respondents.

There are seven new question areas on the annual form, including whether the charity pays its trustees, raises money from the public and owns a trading subsidiary. In addition the summary information return, previously compulsory for charities with an annual income of £1million or more has been discontinued.

Since the consultation, the Commission has identified further information that it will collect and display as part of its toughened approach to the scrutiny of accounts, including asking whether charities accounts have been qualified by an auditor or independent examiner.

In addition to new questions, the Commission will be publishing information already held about charities including whether the charity is insolvent, in administration or subject to enforcement action for non-submission of accounts.

The Commission will also be publishing information about whether a charity is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board.

To complete the annual return form visit  www.charitycommission.gov.uk/contact-us/update-your-details/complete-your-annual-return.

To download the guidance visit www.charitycommission.gov.uk/media/603480/ar14_guidancenotes.pdf.