06 June 2013

Charity Commission consults on proposed changes to Annual Return 2014

The Charity Commission has launched a consultation on the content of the Annual Return and the public register of Charities after having conducted a review last summer on the nature of the information it should collect from charities. Currently all registered charities with an income of £10,000 and above are required to submit an Annual Return, which provides charities with an opportunity to inform the public about their work. Jane Hobson, Head of Policy at the Charity Commission, has commented that the Annual Return is used ‘to inform our regulatory work, promote good governance by trustees and make sure that charities are accountable to the public’. The information provided in the Annual Return is fed directly through to each charity’s entry on the public register.

The Commission has developed ten questions as part of its consultation, which cover proposals for asking for additional information in the Annual Return from 2014; discontinuing the summary information return (an additional return of information that has to be filed by charities with an annual income of over £1m); and displaying additional information on the public register, such as whether the charity pays its trustees and whether it has particular policies in place (for example in relation to safeguarding vulnerable beneficiaries). The Commission is seeking feedback from registered charities that complete the Annual Return, as well as anyone else who uses the public register.

The consultation will be open until 17 July 2013 and responses can be submitted online here.

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