Charity Commission Annual Return And Login For Charities

How to prepare and submit your annual return, report and accounts - links to resources for charities, including the Charity Commission login

How To Submit Your Charity Commission Annual Return, Report And Accounts

How to prepare and submit your charity annual return, report and accounts, with links to resources for charities, including the Charity Commission login to file your return.  There is a separate resource for charity audit and independent examination.  If you want the SORP and Charity Commission annual accounts templates, click here.  For anything to do with running a charity, including accounts, finance and tax, click the AI Bunny icon in the bottom right of your screen and tell it what you need, using short questions and key words.

Charity Commission Login

To login and submit your charity annual return, go to My Charity Commission Account for details.  There are different steps for setting up your account depending on your role, which determines what permissions and access you can have.

Charity Commission Password And E Mail

You can reset, if you've forgotten your Charity Commission password.  It will be sent to the person who is the Charity Commission's registered contact.  If that's you and you've forgotten what e mail that is, you can recover your e mail address.

The Difference Between A Charity Commission Annual Return And Annual Report

There can be a bit of confusion between Charity Commission annual returns and reports.

  • Annual Returns - all registered charities must submit an annual return online.  The guidance on how to do that is below.
  • Annual Reports - all registered charities must also prepare a charity trustee's annual report - here's the Charity Commission guidance on how to do that.  But you don't have to upload that as part of your online annual return, as long as your income is under £25,000.
  • Impact Reports - many charities also create an impact report.  This is not a regulatory requirement but can be a very good way of communicating your work to your stakeholders, not least your funders in a much more accessible and engaging way.  Here's the Charity Excellence guide on impact reporting.

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CHARITY COMMISSION ANNUAL RETURN - REQUIREMENTS

What you need to do to prepare your Charity Commission annual return and accounts

How To Prepare Your Charity Commission Annual Return

Charity Commission annual returns for small non-company charities

If your income is under £500,000 (and it doesn’t have assets worth more than £3.26m), prepare a simple return including:

  • your charity’s name, registration number, address and trustee names.
  • its structure and details of how it is managed, including how it recruits trustees.
  • its activities and objectives in the year.
  • its achievements and performance, including reporting on its public benefit.
  • a financial review including any debts and details of your reserves policy (if applicable).
  • details of any funds held as a custodian trustee.

You can put more detail into your trustees’ annual report if you want to. You only have to send a copy to the Charity Commission with your annual return if your income is more than £25,000.  The Commission provides report templates you can use.

Charity Commission annual returns for large or company charities

Prepare a full trustees’ annual return if either:

  • your charity’s income is above £500,000 (or above £250,000 if its assets are worth more than £3.26m).
  • your charity is a company or CIO.

A full return needs to follow the guidelines set out by SORP.

How To Prepare Your Charity Annual Accounts

Use this toolkit to identify what the Charity Commission needs you to do to prepare your annual accounts.  You may also find Charity Commission CC16 (Receipts and payments accounts pack) and CC17 (Accruals accounts pack - SORP FRS 102) useful.

There is sometimes confusion between cash and accrual accounting - the difference is one of timing.  If you record income or expenses when you pay or receive money, it’s cash based accounting. If you do it when you receive a bill or raise an invoice, it’s accruals based accounting.  Often, small charities use cash based accounting and larger ones accruals.

CHARITY COMMISSION ANNUAL RETURN - CONTENT

The Charity Commission annual return requirements and what you need to include.

Submitting Your Charity Commission Annual Return

You must submit your annual return within 10 months of the end of your financial year.

Income under £10,000

You only need to report your income and spending.

Income between £10,000 and £25,000

You must answer questions about your charity in an annual return, but do not need to include any other documents.

Income over £25,000

You must answer questions about your charity in an annual return and also provide copies of your:

  1. Trustee annual report.
  2. Accounts.
  3. Independent examiner’s or audit report.

Questions In The Annual Return

The questions you will be asked depend on your income, the type of charity and what the charity does.

You may be asked about:

  • financial information, like income and spending
  • income or contracts from central government or local authorities
  • money provided by the government’s furlough programme, which must be declared individually as ‘income from government grants’
  • income from or work done outside the UK
  • trading subsidiaries
  • trustee payments
  • staff salary bands and benefits

You can download a copy of the questions here.

CHARITY COMMISSION ANNUAL RETURN & ACCOUNTS - SUBMISSION

As a CIO or trust, you only submit your return and accounts to the Charity Commission.  If you're a charitable company, there is additional filing and reporting.

Charitable Companies - File Annual Returns

If you are a charitable company, you will also be registered with Companies House and will be required to file a Company Tax Return (CT600) for Corporation Tax with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and your accounts with Companies House.  You can do both here.

You can file your confirmation statement here.  This is your confirmation that the information in your Companies House records is up to date.

CHARITY ANNUAL RETURNS AND ACCOUNTS FAQs

  • What are the Charity Commission annual return questions?  If your income was under £10,000, you only need to report your income and spending.  If it was £10,000 and £25,000, you must answer questions about your charity. If it was over £25,000
  • What do we include in our charity annual return?  If you're income is over £25,000 you must provide copies of your trustee annual report, accounts and an independent examiner’s or audit report.
  • What is the Charity Commission login?  When your charity was registered, you'll have been sent your Charity Commission login details.  If you've lost these, go to the Charity Commission login page and click the 'Forgotten Your Password?' link.
  • What is the charity annual return deadline?  You must submit your trustees' annual return to the Charity Commission within 10 months of the end of your financial year.
  • Do we have to make a charity annual return submission? You must send an annual return if your charity's income is more than £10,000 or you are a CIO.
  • Where do charities file their accounts?  Registered charities file their accounts with their charity regulator (Charity Commission E&W, OSCR or CCNI).  In addition, charitable companies are also required to file their accounts at Companies House.
  • Do charities need to file accounts with HMRC?  You only have to complete and file a tax return, if your charity has income that does not qualify for tax relief or if HMRC asks you to.

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This Resource Doesn't Constitute Professional Opinion

I have worked in the sector at senior level for many years and hold various professional qualifications but am not an accountant, nor a lawyer and no advice can be applicable to all organisations, in all circumstances, so this resource is no more than a guide to understanding.  Essentially, I've summarised the wide ranging and detailed regulatory guidance and augmented this with my own experience and Internet research to create a layman's guide, with links to the source guidance. I hope you found it useful, but I am not competent to provide professional advice.  If you need it, use Help Finder to find pro bono support.

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