Commission set to slash red tape

The Charity Commission has pledged to cut the administrative burden it places on charities by 25 per cent over the next three years.

It hopes the savings will come from a mix of new and previously announced measures.

The Charities Act will raise the annual income at which charities must register with the commission from £1,000 to £5,000, which the regulator hopes will save up to £2.2m in administrative costs by 2010.

The Act also raises the audit threshold from £250,000 to £500,000, which is expected to exempt 8,000 charities and save £355,000 in administration costs.

Sparing charities with incomes below £250,000 from filling in part of their annual returns, a move announced last year, will save £2m, the commission estimated.

However, some are already sceptical about how the cuts can be made.

Jonathan Brinsden, charity lawyer at Bircham Dyson Bell, said the burden relating to annual accounts and Sorp compliance was increasing. "There is no way I can see that burden lightening," Brinsden said. "It seems to be going the other way." He said many charities would have to seek professional help to comply with the Act.

The commission is making the cuts in line with the Government's Administrative Burdens Reduction Project.

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