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Time for charities to submit 2001 annual returns

Time for charities to submit 2001 annual returns

The Charity Commission is encouraging charities to submit their annual returns before the deadline to avoid being named and shamed on its Web site.

The Charity Commission says that, with just a few weeks to go, they are still waiting for many charities to send them their 2001 accounts, annual returns and annual reports.

By law, any charity with annual income and expenditure of more than £10,000 must submit these documents within ten months of the end of its financial year. Most charities should already have sent their 2001 accounts; those whose financial year-end was 31 December 2001 have until 31 October 2002 to meet the deadline.

If the documents are not submitted on time, the Commission regards it as evidence of poor management and says that it may begin formal inquiry action. The Commission points out that a number of trustees have been prosecuted for persistently failing to submit their documents on

time.

The Commission’s Director of Operations Simon Gillespie, said: “Submission of accounts is a vital element in maintaining public confidence – not just for individual charities but for the sector as a whole. So this week, we’re urging charities not to get behind with their paperwork. The Commission takes a robust line on non-compliance. Defaulting charities can expect to find themselves listed on our web site as not having submitted their returns on time.

We know that many thousands of people visit the web site every month before deciding which charities they wish to support. They will be able to see which are in default, and that will almost certainly affect their decision.”

The Commission has also reminded smaller charities – those with incomes of under £10,000 a year – to make sure that their details are up to date by submitting a Charity Commission ‘Register Check Form’ every year.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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