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[25.07.2018]

Charity annual return 2018: what’s changing?

You might have heard about the upcoming changes to the 2018 charity annual return, but are you prepared for the new questions?

The Charity Commission has published some of the questions it will include, giving charities time to get ready before the return is made available by the end of August 2018.
Certain questions will be optional this year, so don’t worry if you haven’t got the right records in some of these areas.

However, they’ll all be mandatory from 2019. Thinking about the processes you’ll need to put in place now will put you in a good position to gather the right information in the future.

What’s new?

New questions will be added across 3 areas of the return.

Salaries and benefits in charities

A recent Charity Commission report on public trust in charities produced some worrying results.

When asked about their level of trust, the public gave charities a rating of 5.5 out of 10 – even less than they trust the average person on the street.

In particular, people said they were concerned about high levels of pay.

To help address these concerns, the Commission has asked for charities to provide more information regarding the salaries of their staff.
The return will include new questions on:

  • trading subsidiaries
  • employee income and benefits
  • trustees’ employment status.

Overseas expenditure

To manage the risk involved in money transfer processes, the annual return will include additional questions on the way charities send money overseas.

As you may need to change your record-keeping processes to accurately answer these questions, some of this area will be optional on the 2018 return.

Some of the new questions will ask about:

  • transfers made outside of the regulated banking system
  • which monitoring controls you have in place
  • your risk management policy.

Income from outside the UK

The annual return will include questions on sources of income for each country outside of the UK you receive funds from.

You’ll be able to choose from the following options:

  • overseas governments or quasi-government bodies
  • overseas charities, non-governmental organisations or non-profit organisations
  • other overseas institutions (for example private company donations)
  • individual donors resident overseas
  • unknown.

The questions in this section that relate to other private institutions outside the UK will be optional for the 2018 annual return.

Find out more

To get ahead on preparing your annual return, read the Charity Commission’s list of new questions for 2018.

Our charity specialist Miriam Hickson can help you to stay up-to-date on your filing obligations, as well as supporting your tax and finance needs.

Contact us at 020 8643 1166 to speak about our services for charities, or find out more here.

Dick Haffenden