Charities with January deadline asked to file on time and online

The Charity Commission is urging charities with a 31 January deadline for accounts and annual returns to file on time and file online.

Charities have ten months from the end of their financial year to submit their annual documents. Around 54,000 charities have a financial year end of 31 March, meaning their accounts and annual returns are due at the end of this month.

The commission is urging charities not to send in hard copy accounts, instead to file online. The 20-minute process is set out in a video tutorial produced by the commission in easy to follow steps, which can be viewed at The regulator also has guidance available on its website at

In addition, charities can now authorise their accountant or other adviser to submit accounts on the trustees’ behalf. Further details on this can be found at

Failure to submit annual documents when required to the commission is a criminal offence and the regulator says that it amounts to mismanagement and/or misconduct in the administration of a charity and is often linked with poor governance issues.

Charities who fail to file their annual documents for two or more years face a statutory inquiry by the commission. There is an ongoing class inquiry into charities that are in default of their statutory obligations to meet reporting requirements.

Charities are regularly reminded by the commission of their legal responsibilities. With the 31 January deadline fast approaching, the regulator is urging charities to submit their information now.

To find out if a charity has submitted its annual information to the Charity Commission on time visit