One in 10 Scottish charities have accounts overdue

Charity

About 10 per cent of Scottish charities have failed to file their accounts on time, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has revealed.

The regulator has released its latest quarterly sector overview report, which looks at the state of the charity sector north of the border.

According to the report, there are 25,045 charities registered with OSCR – 23,766 Scottish charities and 1,279 cross-border charities that are also registered in England and Wales.

Of these charities, more than 2,500 had failed to submit annual returns on time, which the OSCR said could be because the organisation was no longer active. 

The figures also show that the number of charities registered in Scotland has continued to decline after increasing for 12 years.

This was due to the regulator’s ongoing work to remove inactive organisations, the OSCR said. 

Charity numbers on 31 December were 25,108, falling from 25,445 the previous year.

In total, 743 charities were registered and 1,130 charities were removed from the Scottish charity register in 2023.

There was a 67 per cent increase in the number of charities removed compared with the previous year, with 678 removed in 2022.

The report shows that slightly more than half (53 per cent) of charities in Scotland have an annual income of less than £25,000.

The report shows charities employ 218,323 people as paid staff but 69 per cent of charities employ no paid staff and are run entirely by volunteers, including charity trustees.

There are 181,258 charity trustees across all Scottish charities and just under half (45 per cent) of charities are set up to benefit children or young people, according to the report.

Charities registered in Scotland had total gross annual income of £16.9bn and £16.4bn in expenditure compared with total income of £17.7bn and expenditure of £17.3bn for cross-border charities.

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