Trustees of some deregistered charities in Scotland are unaware that they must continue to report to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator on their use of their organisations' charitable assets, the regulator has said.
The OSCR has published new guidance to remind charities that if they are removed from the Scottish charity register, either voluntarily or by the regulator, they must continue to ensure their assets, and any income the assets generate, are used for charitable purposes.
The guidance document, Monitoring of Charitable Assets Following Removal from the Scottish Charity Register, says that once a charity is removed from its register, the OSCR will consider the value of its charitable assets, such as permanent endowments and buildings.
If the value of the assets is significant, the guidance says, the OSCR may require the organisation to continue submitting annual accounts for the assets. The document warns that if the former charity fails to do this, the OSCR can apply for the assets to be removed from the organisation and transferred to a charity.
Since it was set up in 2006, the OSCR has monitored the assets of 679 deregistered charities, worth about £1.8m in total.
In a statement, the chief executive, Jane Ryder, said: "Removal from the register is not a simple case of surrendering charitable status and moving on. Charitable assets must be used for charitable purposes."