The Charity Commission reports that last year 20% of charities in England and Wales failed to submit their accounts and Annual Returns on time.
The Commission is therefore reminding charities to file on time. It has launched a regional press campaign to encourage local trustees to ensure their charity does so.
Charities whose income exceeded £10,000 in their last financial year have 10 months from the end of their financial year in which to submit an Annual Return. Those with an income over £25,000 also have to submit their accounts with their Annual Return.
Since 2008 the Commission has displayed on its online Register of Charities a red flag on the records of charities which had outstanding documents. As the Commission points out, “the Register of Charities is visited by millions of users every year”.
Dame Suzi Leather, Chair of the Charity Commission, said: “It’s not acceptable for charities to send their annual accounts and returns late – they are accountable not just to us but most importantly to their donors, to those whom they exist to help and to the wider public.
“As well as being a requirement, charities run the risk of damaging their own reputations and putting off potential donors if their financial affairs are not in order”.
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