Commission issues official warnings to two persistently late-filing charities

The Charity Commission has issued official warnings to two charities that have repeatedly failed to file their annual documents on time. 

In an update about its ongoing class inquiry into charities that have been late filing their annual returns for two or more of the past five years, the regulator said that between April 2020 and March this year, 19 charities had been removed from the register of charities because they were not operational while a further 25 charities submitted their outstanding documents. 

The commission said four charities that had persistently failed to submit their annual returns were told they faced receiving an official warning, leading two of them to file their outstanding documents. 

But two – the education charity Compass Bridge and the Islamic Education Centre and Mosque, which runs a mosque near Sunderland – had not complied, so had been served with official warnings requiring them to file their outstanding documents. 

Compass Bridge’s entry on the online register of charities says it has documentation that is almost 1,500 days late, while the mosque is more than 900 days overdue with its paperwork. 

The commission said it would consider taking further regulatory action if the charities failed to comply with the warnings. 

The regulator first opened its class inquiry into charities that were persistently late with their accounts in 2013. Since then dozens of charities have joined or have been removed because of filing their accounts or being removed from the register. 

Registered charities with an annual income of up to £10,000 must complete relevant sections of the annual return within 10 months of the end of their financial year, while those with incomes above that, and all charitable incorporated organisations, must file annual returns. 

Those with incomes of more than £25,000 and all CIOs must file an annual report and accounts. 

The full list of charities that were removed from the inquiry in 2020/21 can be found here.

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