New questions added to charities’ annual return, regulator announces

Charity

Charities will have to answer a new set of questions in their 2023 annual return, the regulator has announced.

The updated questions, announced on Wednesday, are a result of a feedback form completed by charities following the consultation launched by the Charity Commission, which ran from 9 June to 1 September.

The changes to the 2023 annual return include 

  • A reduction to 49 in the maximum number of questions that can be asked.

  • The introduction of income thresholds for five of the new questions, to reduce the burden for smaller charities.

  • Reworking 19 questions to improve clarity and/or reduce resource.

  • Improvements in the glossary and guidance offered to charities.

The commission also said it would release a guide to assist those looking to submit their returns in January, followed by opening enrolment onto the My Charity Commission Account platform in spring 2023.

The annual return filing portal will open in summer 2023 via My Charity Commission Account and trustees will be expected to submit their accounts through the platform in the future. 

Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: I’d like to thank all of those who took the time to respond to our consultation.

“We have listened to feedback and are now introducing changes that will improve the Annual Return for charities and allow us to regulate more effectively.

We know that it will take time for charities to adjust their reporting and so we will be publishing a guide in January to help trustees and nominated contacts as they look to file their returns next year.”

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