Changes to Annual Returns for charities

There have been some changes to the charity annual return which came into effect on the 1st January 2018. These are in response to the consultation in the latter part of 2017 and will come into force for those charities with financial years starting from 1 January 2018.

The annual return has historically been used to collect changes to the registered data of the charity. Going forward this will be done through an online system so changes can be made as and when they happen, thus leaving the return for more financial and regulatory information.

An additional requirement will be in relation to income from outside the UK. It is appreciated that this may well require charities to change how they collect and collate their data, therefore this information will be voluntary initially, and only become mandatory in 2019, thus allowing charities to adapt their systems accordingly.   There are various requirements depending on the size of the entity so it is worth checking on how the requirements will relate to your charity to ensure that you can capture the correct information.

Following on from the increased disclosure requirements in accounts around remuneration, there are not surprisingly, new questions around remuneration which cover all salary, benefits, pensions etc, along with details of the highest paid employee, although this latter information will not be made public.

One area which had been proposed was for gift aid information to be collected through this return. This has now been dropped with discussions instead taking place with HMRC to look at gathering the information directly.

If you would like to discuss how the changes to the new annual return will impact on your charity please contact Emma Murray on 01522 815100 or email