Accounting rules for charities

Produced by Tolley in association with Speechly Bircham LLP
Accounting rules for charities

The following Trusts and Inheritance Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with Speechly Bircham LLP provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Accounting rules for charities
  • Introduction to the reporting requirements for charities
  • Reporting
  • Annual income £25,000 or less
  • Annual income over £25,000 and up to £500,000
  • Annual income over £500,000 and up to £1m
  • Annual income over £1m
  • Exempt and excepted charities
  • Completing Part B of the Annual Return
  • Demonstrating public benefit
  • More...

Introduction to the reporting requirements for charities

The specific reporting requirements of a charity are dependent on:

  1. whether the charity is registered, and

  2. the charity's income in each financial period

There are special requirements for ‘excepted’ or ‘exempt’ charities and registered charitable companies. For the detailed requirements see The Charities (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2008 SI 2008/629 and Charities Act 2011, s 144–146.

The required documents should be submitted to the Charity Commission online no later than ten months after the charity's financial year end.

Much of the information reported in a charity’s accounts and filed with the Charity Commission is accessible on the Commission’s public register of charities. Bank account details and the trustees' addresses, telephone numbers and dates of birth are not made available to the public.

Reporting

Links to specimen forms can be found on the Charity Commission website.

Annual income £25,000 or less

Charities with income of under £5,000 are not generally required to register with the Charity Commission. The exception is CIOs, which are registered with the Commission regardless of annual income. There are no specific reporting requirements for trustees of unregistered charities.

The trustees of a registered charity must prepare an annual report and accounts and make copies available to the public on request. The requirement to prepare accounts and an annual report also applies to trustees of charities with income under £5,000 who have registered voluntarily.

There is a legal obligation on the trustees of all registered charities to keep the charity’s details up to date on the Charity Commission's public register . Any changes to the charity’s details must be recorded in either an Annual Update form (for charities with income up to £10,000) or Part A of the Annual Return (for those with income over £10,000 and up to £25,000).

Annual income over £25,000 and up to £500,000

The duty to file accounts and the annual accounts with the Charity Commission applies to the trustees of register

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