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All charities with an annual income of over £10,000 must submit an annual return to the Commission. (The exception to this is CIOs: all CIOs must submit an annual return, regardless of their income.) The return must usually be sent within 10 months of the end of their financial year; the amount of information required varies according to the charity's annual income.

Towards the end of August, the Commission announced that the 2017 online annual return service was open. This news story explains the basics of what is required from charities in different income brackets and links to a more detailed description of how to complete the return.

Charities can log in to the annual return service here.

The Commission is already consulting on the 2018 annual return, its aim being "to minimise the amount of information that many charities have to send to us each year, targeting questions instead at larger or more complex charities". The Commission is proposing two main changes:

  1. using "trigger" questions to ensure that charities only have to answer questions that are relevant. For instance, if a charity answers "yes" to the question about whether they are registered with HMRC for Gift Aid, they will be asked how much Gift Aid they claimed in the financial year; and
  2. creating a new "Update Charity Detail" service, allowing charities to log in at any time to inform the Commission if there are any changes to its registered details, such as its contact details and trustees. Charities will also be able to use the service to complete their annual returns and receive updates from the Commission that are tailored to their needs.

The consultation closes on 24 November 2017. If you would like to respond, you can find all the papers here.

If you require further information on anything covered in this briefing please contact or Rachel Holmes at the firm on 020 3375 7000.

This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

© Farrer & Co LLP, October 2017

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