Is your charity annual monitoring return due?

18 Oct 2018 Denise Copeland    Last updated: 29 Jan 2019

The Charity Commission has issued text alerts to trustees and updated its guidance on how to complete the annual monitoring return with helpful screenshots of the online return.  

The Charity Commission has identified that October and January are two peak periods in which charities must submit their annual monitoring return to the charity register.    If your registered charity's financial year is 1 April - 31 March then you will have a deadline of 31 January.  

All registered charities must submit their examined annual accounts and trustees' report along with the annual monitoring return within 10 months after their full financial year after charity registration.

The Commission has issued text message alerts to over 3,000 trustees of registered charities due to submit their annual reports by the end of January 2019. If you haven't received notification from the Commission that your accounts are due then please log in to the charity register to make sure that the  'contact email for Commission use' is correct.  Please note that the publicly available email on the charity register may be different, so you need to log in to 'Online services' to check this.  

If your charity is due to submit the annual monitoring return, please don't leave it to the last minute as you may not have all the information to hand that you need to submit.  Please note that if you file your return after the due date, a notice stating that the documents were received late will be marked in red on the public register and will stay there until the following year, even if you're one day late.   

The Commission has identified that common errors in previous returns to the charity register have included: accounts not being audited or independently examined; auditor's/examiner's report not included; trustees' report not submitted; or the accounts not properly prepared.  For example, accrual accounts must comply with the Charities SORP and receipts and payments accounts must include a 'Statement of assets and liabilities', even if the charity does not have any property.    

Please see the Commission's guidance on completing the annual monitoring return to ensure you have all the right information, or indeed if you have already submitted your return, check it to make sure it is complete. It is available along with the Commission's other guidance on accounts and annual reporting below:

The Commission has also published a video tutorial on how to complete the annual montoring return which can be accessed here Annual Monitoring Return tutorial video

Please also see the Commission's press release on the text alerts

If you have any queries regarding the accounting and reporting requirements please don't hesitate to contact myself or Andrea here in NICVA.'s picture
by Denise Copeland

Governance and Charity Advice Manager

[email protected]

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