MHA | Charity Commission Annual Return

Charity Commission Annual Return

Posted on: February 22nd 2023 · read

NFP e News February 2023 Article2 6372 1677079975

Following a recent consultation period, the Charity Commission have proceeded with planned changes to their Annual Return.

The consultation, which closed on 01 September 2022,  set out the addition of new questions to the Return, and amendment and removal of existing questions.

It received 456 responses, 52% of which were on behalf  of charities and a further 37% from charity Trustees. Overall, the responses were supportive of the Commission's intentions to amend the Return, though perhaps understandably there were objections  from smaller charities on the grounds of proportionality.


Effective for charities whose financial years end on or  after 01 January 2023, the revised Annual Return will:

  1. amend the wording of 13 questions to improve their clarity, and in some cases reduce the data-gathering or input required
  2. create income thresholds for four of the new questions being introduced, to ensure that the regulatory burden on the smallest charities is proportionate
  3. remove six questions from the 2024 Annual Return having identified alternative means of collecting similar data in the longer term.
  4. not introduce five of the questions proposed in the consultation

Furthermore, the Commission have reviewed all explanatory notes and the glossary for both the existing and new questions to promote consistency and clarity, and have vowed to continue to assess the opportunity to remove further questions where other developments allow.

The revised digital service which charities will use to submit their Annual Return will be released later in 2023.

The new questions which will be included in the 2023 return are as follows:

• You will be asked to enter your charity’s gross income and spending in the financial period of this return.
• Income from Government Contracts & Grants - you will be asked to give the total value of the grants received from central government or a local authority. Note this can differ from the disclosure in the accounts which only covers grants not contracts.
• You will be required to give a greater level of detail when providing your income received this will be broken down into; a. donations and legacies, b. charitable activities, c. other trading activities and d. investments.
• If your public address is different from administrative headquarters, you will be required to give the address of your charity’s administrative headquarters.
• If you employ more than 2 employees you will be required to state how many: a. people were permanently employed by your charity, b. people were on fixed-term contracts with your charity, c. self-employed people were working for your charity and how many of the people above work on behalf of your charity outside of the United Kingdom.
• Finally you will be asked to state the total amount spent on employee payroll in the financial period of this return.

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