Charity Commission change coronavirus guidance in the UK

Article 13 July 2021 Experience: Charities and non-profit

The Charity Commission has updated its coronavirus guidance page with changes that reflect the gradual easing of restrictions. Trustees and charity staff should ensure they are aware that some of the lenient policies brought in by the Commission to help charities manage at the beginning of the pandemic are being tightened once more.

The Charity Commission was previously granting all requests for extensions to Annual Return filing deadlines, without imposing a further deadline. This has now been reviewed and the Commission has stated that all charities that had secured an extension prior to 30 June 2021 will need to file their Return by 30 September 2021.

For charities that apply for a filing extension between 1 July and 30 September, they will now be given a fixed three month extension for the date of the application (rather than the date of the deadline).

The guidance does still state that the Commission will understand if charities choose to hold meetings over telephone or virtually, even if not provided for in the governing document. However, this may not remain the position once restrictions have been fully lifted. Those charities that have adapted to holding meetings remotely and intend to continue doing so should now be considering amending their governing documents to expressly allow it.