Covid-19 filing extension has finished, Charity Commission says

A number of temporary provisions put in place to help charities navigate the coronavirus pandemic have come to an end.

As the pandemic hit in March last year the regulator issued new guidance acknowledging that the nature of Covid-19 meant it might be necessary to cancel or postpone critical meetings, events and annual general meetings on government health advice.

The commission also allowed charities to request additional time to file annual returns.

But the Charity Commission has this week updated its guidance on annual returns and accounts to say that charities are now subject to normal filing requirements.

Charities must again submit their annual returns within 10 months of the end of the financial year.

Another provision allowed charities to continue trading while exploring options for rescue and restructure to avoid insolvency.

The commission's updated guidance means some of these provisions have come to an end, but those still in force cover moratoriums, temporary restrictions on winding-up petitions and support for viable companies struggling with debt to restructure under a new procedure.

A spokesperson for the regulator said: “Our guidance has been updated to reflect recent changes in legislation.

"The government introduced provisions to help charitable companies and charitable incorporated organisations continue operating and avoid insolvency during the pandemic and some of these measures have recently been removed.

"Other provisions will remain in operation, such as around debt enforcement action and restrictions on winding up petitions.”

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