Charity Commission unveils changes to its annual return for charities

Revised return adds new questions on Gift Aid registration and ownership and usage of property

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has released a new version of its annual return that charities will have to use when filing information about financial years ending in 2013.

The new version of the return, which should be submitted online by charities with annual incomes of more than £10,000, asks charities three new questions: whether they are registered for Gift Aid, whether they own or lease any land or buildings, and whether any of their land or buildings are used for the charity’s purposes.

Questions on overseas activities and the number of volunteers that used to be voluntary will now be mandatory.

The annual return is a statement of information about a charity that should be filed with the commission within 10 months of the end of the charity’s financial year.

Information in the annual return is used to update the commission’s online register of charities.

Changes to the annual return have been introduced following a consultation on the information that people most wanted to know about charities.

Sam Younger, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said the extra information would help the commission regulate charities, and would also help the public understand them more.

"Better information helps to underpin the trust and confidence which the public has in charities," he said.

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